The weekly Davis Index for US heavy soft lead rose by 0.7¢/lb to 65.3¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday amid better demand and resumption of exports to Asia.
Export demand for soft lead has increased over the past week as businesses restarted in India, a major consumer of the material, and buyers from that country sought to restore their inventories. In fact, the robust demand has seen soft lead prices rise to 68-69¢/lb fas US ports from around 64-65¢/lb fas last week. The strong exports demand is also rubbing off on domestic prices despite a balance in supply and demand at present.
The market for US mixed hard lead has trended sideways, with the index for the material ticking down to 61¢/lb from 61.2¢/lb on June 17.
The lead batteries market has continued to move in a narrow range as supply outstrips demand. The Davis Index for whole undrained batteries inched up by 0.6¢/lb to 33.3¢/lb on Wednesday continuing to move within the 32-34¢/lb range. Export prices for lead batteries, though, remain in the upper range with the material reportedly being shipped at around 34¢/lb fas US ports, according to some market participants.
The index for lead ingot premiums also held at 8¢/lb under the three-month LME lead contract.
The official three-month LME lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,755.50, decreasing by $28 from $1,783.50 on June 17. Scrap dealers anticipate the current volatility on LME lead to bring in better prices, but the general long-term outlook leans towards a sideways market for the material as supply continues to rise in the local markets.