The weekly Davis Index for US lead batteries rose by 1.5¢/lb to 32.5¢/lb delivered US consumer amid steady supply and demand for batteries.
The supply of batteries scrap has remained consistent, according to market participants, who don’t expect above-normal seasonal demand. However, some market participants anticipate lower scrap batteries collection this summer because the pandemic will dissuade consumers from traveling long distances, which will preserve their car batteries longer.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead declined on Wednesday to 58.7¢/lb delivered consumer from 58.8¢/lb delivered amid news that, in the US, Exide Technologies and, in Europe, Recyclex filed for bankruptcy. The index for mixed hard lead also dropped by a penny to 57¢/lb delivered, as did lead ingot premium, which decreased to 8.9¢/lb delivered consumer from 9¢/lb delivered.
Smaller smelters could either look for sale or file for bankruptcy after losing money during the recent lockdowns, and that could affect scrap lead prices,according to market participants. However, rising interest in lead scrap imports, especially from India and the Middle East—both regions are looking to reopen by the end of the month—could increase soft lead prices.
An uptick in LME lead could also stabilize lead scrap prices, along with a steady flow from retail customers trying to sell old batteries or lead-based scrap.
The official three-month LME lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,679/mt, increasing by $54.5/mt from $1,624.5/mt on May 13.