US lead and battery scrap prices remained rangebound for the second consecutive week as oversupply, depressed LME Lead prices, and declining exports impacted lead prices.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries declined by 0.9¢/lb to 31.7¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday amid a continuing trend of oversupply. While battery makers are still buying the grade, the low LME Lead market is affecting the amounts traders are paying for this grade, especially for exports.
A Midwest exporter told Davis Index that the official LME Lead cash offers have averaged $1,775.47/mt this month, down by around $100/mt from September. However, traders are now overpaying due to a volatile LME market as physical trading does not allow them to reduce their offers accordingly for scrap or batteries.
On the domestic front, abundant supply, the US presidential elections next week, stock market fluctuations, and a weak US dollar have combined to put downward pressure on battery prices.
The LME Lead prices declined again and continued to trend lower than the rest of the base metals complex this week. The official three-month LME Lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,781/mt down by $27.50/mt from $1,808.50/mt on Oct 21.
Declining exports and tight material flows have also affected the prices for lead scrap which are trending flat to slightly up this week. Soft lead prices rose slightly on Wednesday, with the Davis Index for heavy soft lead increasing by 0.2¢/lb to 67.1¢/lb delivered US consumer. Hard lead also inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 63.5¢/lb delivered.
The prices for lead ingot premiums increased this week due to higher inventories and lower LME Lead prices. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium rose by 0.5¢/lb to 9.8¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.