The Davis Index for US lead scrap and whole undrained batteries inched up amid better demand and abundant supply.
The weekly index for whole undrained batteries rose by 0.4¢/lb to 33.4¢/lb delivered US consumer, while the index for heavy soft lead increased by 0.5¢/lb to 66¢/lb delivered.
Battery sales have risen with sellers and producers reporting full order books. However, demand in certain pockets of the US, such as the Midwest, remains muted. Moreover, domestic battery scrap flows have been slower, resulting in battery scrap prices staying in the range of 32-34¢/lb delivered.
Domestic soft lead scrap prices, which have risen continuously for the past month led by exports, could end their uptrend soon because supply is outpacing demand even in the export market, according to some market participants.
After declining last week, the index for mixed hard lead increased by 0.7¢/lb to 60¢/lb on better demand for the grade in the US. Rising domestic demand has also caused premiums to increase, with the Davis Index for lead ingot premium rising by 0.7¢/lb to 8.7¢/lb under the three-month LME lead contract.
The official three-month LME lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,831.50, up by $58/mt from $1,773.50 on July 1.