US weekly lead scrap prices were rangebound on Wednesday as supply continued to outpace demand continuing a trend that has defined this market in April.
LME Lead prices increased on Wednesday with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing at $2,095/mt up by $60.50/mt from Apr 21 and the LME lead cash contract closing at its highest point since February at $2,076/mt. Still, activity on LME Lead lags the increases in other base metal prices such as zinc, aluminum, and copper, which have soared over the past two weeks.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries inched down by 0.1¢/lb to 31.7¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday amid abundant supply.
Demand has improved slightly in the lead batteries market with some regions witnessing prices at around 33-34¢/lb picked up. Still, this price range remains rare due to abundant supply and smelters are receiving more used batteries from customer returns as the summer sets in. Moreover, smelters have preferred to maintain healthy volumes this month as scheduled maintenance outages in June and July might impact the supply-demand gap.
Supply also weighed on lead scrap prices this week with the index for heavy soft lead decreasing by 0.5¢/lb to 78.9¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead moved up by 0.3¢/lb to 76¢/lb delivered.
The weekly Davis Index lead ingot premium remained unchanged at 15.8¢/lb delivered US consumer amid a continuing shortage of refined lead.