US weekly lead scrap prices trended flat for the second successive week with high freight costs and ample supply restricting market activity.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries inched up by 0.7¢/lb to 33.4¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday. Market participants attributed the increase to the rise in LME lead last week rather than a change in supply-demand dynamics. In fact, supply is expected to outpace demand until the end of March.
Higher freight costs in the domestic and export market impacted lead scrap deliveries this week. The Davis Index for heavy soft lead inched up by 0.1¢/lb to 81.7¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead rose by 0.5¢/lb to 77.5¢/lb delivered. Limited container availability is also affecting the export prices for lead scrap, suppliers observed.
Lead ingot premiums increased by 0.4¢/lb to 12.9¢/lb delivered as projected by market participants last week. Sentiment on this grade remains bullish amid extremely limited supply.
LME lead prices dropped this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $2,042.50/mt down by $96.50/mt from $2,139/mt on Feb 24.