US lead scrap prices decreased on Wednesday amid adequate supply, while battery scrap tags were flat as supply and demand stabilized.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries remained unchanged at 29.5¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday as the market tried to gauge the impact of the rising COVID-19 infections on the winter season, which is usually the peak period for scrap battery collections and sales.
However, according to some suppliers, the continuing trend of oversupply, and not the anticipated shutdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections, could affect battery prices this winter.
On the other hand, lead scrap prices declined on Wednesday as supply and demand balanced in the domestic market. Lead scrap prices inched up last week on stronger demand in the export market, especially to destinations like Korea. Bids are still being heard at around 68-70¢/lb fas in the export market, but domestic scrap dealers are buying the grades in the lower range of this amount amid adequate flows and demand for the material.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead fell by 1.2¢/lb to 68.8¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead declined by 2.4¢/lb to 62.6¢/lb delivered on Wednesday.
The stronger export market and higher LME Lead prices have also increased the premiums for lead ingot with some suppliers paying as much as 10.5¢/lb over the official three-month LME Lead contract. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium rose by 0.2¢/lb to 10.1¢/lb over the three-month LME Lead contract.
The official three-month LME Lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,940.50/mt up by $104.5/mt from $1,836/mt on Nov 10.