US weekly lead scrap prices were rangebound on Wednesday for the second successive week despite a rise in LME Lead prices.
The official three-month LME Lead contract increased by $17.50/mt from May 26 to close at $2,205.50/mt today.
Healthy scrap flows were balanced by improved demand for lead scrap in the export market as buyers looked to replace primary lead material, which remains in extremely tight supply, with scrap. The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead delivered US consumer increased by 1.1¢/lb to 84.2¢/lb on Wednesday while mixed hard lead trended flat at 82¢/lb delivered.
Whole undrained batteries continued to trend down, declining by 0.5¢/lb to 31¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday. Apart from oversupply, the closure of a smelter in the Midwest has kept many buyers out of the market this week, with prices expected to fall to less than 29¢/lb by the end of June if this trend continues.
Lead ingot premium was also rangebound, inching down by 0.1¢/lb to 17.5¢/lb delivered US consumer as the ongoing shortage of refined lead continued to keep participants out of the market. Suppliers who do have some material to spare are heard to be offering up to 20¢/lb for this grade.