US lead scrap prices increased by 1-3¢/lb on Wednesday amid rising interest for the material in the export market.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries, which had remained rangebound at around 29-29.5¢/lb through most of November, increased by 1.3¢/lb to 30.7¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday.
Market participants are still seeing an oversupply of lead scrap batteries and expect this trend to continue through winter as more lead batteries become available for collection in this period. However, if exports of the material continue to rise, some market participants expect supply and demand to balance in the domestic market, owing to more volumes being sold abroad.
Rising exports have also raised prices for lead scrap as more suppliers look to ship volumes out of the US. The abundant supply of both hard and soft lead is helping exporters to fill their tonnages, resulting in the rise in prices, according to a market participant.
The Davis Index for heavy soft lead increased the most of all grades, rising by 3.5¢/lb to 72.1¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead climbed by 2.6¢/lb to 65.2¢/lb delivered. Lead ingot premium rose in tandem with a strengthening LME Lead market for the third consecutive week with the index rising by 0.1¢/lb to 10.4¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.
The LME Lead prices rose again this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $2,103.50/mt up by $57.50/mt from $2,046/mt on Dec 2.