US zinc scrap prices trended flat on Thursday after market activity turned sluggish due to the shorter week and a sudden rise in LME Zinc prices.
High freight rates and weather conditions in the South and Southeastern part of the country saw special high grade (SHG) zinc premiums increase to their highest level so far this year. The weekly Davis Index for SHG Zinc premium increased by 0.5¢/lb to 8.9¢/lb delivered, though some sales for short-term deliveries were heard at premiums as high as 9¢/lb delivered.
Higher SHG premiums are likely to push up zinc alloy prices over the next few weeks with some grades like Zamak #3 and Zamak #7 already witnessing some upward pressure.
Buyers of zinc scrap, however, stayed away from the market this week as trading remained subdued after LME Zinc shot up during the week. The official LME Zinc three-month contract settled Thursday at $3,084/mt, up $88/mt from Sep 2. This is the first time in three months that LME Zinc has breached the $3,080/mt-mark.
Balanced supply and demand for galvanizer grades despite slightly tighter supply for top dross and continued demand for new zinc diecast from the electronics and white goods markets kept prices for these grades flat this week.
The weekly Davis Indexes for zinc galvanizers bottom dross remained at 99.5¢/lb delivered while zinc galvanizers top dross held unchanged for the second successive week at $1.02/lb delivered. New zinc diecast was flat at 98.5¢/lb delivered.