The demand for US lead scrap and whole undrained batteries has continued to improve amid a good supply of the material.
The weekly index for whole undrained batteries trended sideways, decreasing by 0.2¢/lb to 34.3¢/lb delivered US consumer, while the index for heavy soft lead ticked up by 1.1¢/lb to 67.4¢/lb delivered, after seeing a slight dip last week.
Battery producers remain optimistic about the strong seasonal demand lasting into fall and have ramped up production accordingly. Order books remain strong and battery producers are looking at higher sales in August, according to some market participants.
Demand for lead scrap remains driven by regional needs as well as exports because of which, some areas are seeing higher prices than others. Some producers told Davis Index that scrap supply is abundant because of which buying has increased, keeping customers busy.
Mixed hard lead prices, however, declined on Wednesday with the Davis Index for the grade falling by 0.5¢/lb to 60.8¢/lb and giving away some of its gains from last week.
Premiums continued their volatile run with the lead ingot premium decreasing by 0.8¢/lb to 8.1¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract as a fair amount of lead was put on the exchange last week, according to some market participants.
The official three-month LME Lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,860/mt up by $39.50/mt from $1,821.50 on July 22.