US lead and battery scrap prices moved up or down by less than a penny in a sideways market that has been impacted by macroeconomic factors and abundant supply.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries declined by 0.7¢/lb to 32.2¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday, as supply outpaced demand.
The LME Lead market began catching up with the rest of the base metals complex and increased after two consecutive weeks of decline. The official three-month LME Lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,808.50/mt up by $21.50/mt from $1,787/mt on Oct 14.
Supply has outpaced demand across all lead scrap grades. Macroeconomic factors such as the weakness of the US dollar and a cautionary approach to trading, as the market awaits the results of the upcoming US presidential elections, have also kept lead prices subdued. The LME Lead market has not risen as much as other base metals over the past two weeks, because of which, market participants expect it to trend down to sideways through the rest of the year.
Tepid demand could also see lead scrap prices trending lower towards the end of the year. Soft lead prices slid on Wednesday, with the Davis Index for heavy soft lead declining by 0.8¢/lb to 66.9¢/lb delivered US consumer as domestic and export demand for the grade weakened. Hard lead, on the other hand, inched up by 0.7¢/lb to 63.2¢/lb delivered.
The prices for lead ingot premiums recovered some of their losses from last week on stronger LME prices. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium rose by 0.1¢/lb to 9.3¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.