US lead scrap prices and lead ingot premiums increased on Wednesday amid rising demand. However, oversupply continued to affect lead battery prices, which remained rangebound during the week.
Demand has started outpacing supply in the domestic market adding to the gains in lead scrap prices that began towards the end of January after a dull start to the year. The Davis Index for heavy soft lead rose on Wednesday by 3.3¢/lb to 79.9¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead climbed by 4.4¢/lb to 75¢/lb delivered.
Extremely limited supply increased the lead ingot premium for the third consecutive week with the material indexing up 0.8¢/lb at 12.5¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract. A market participant, who had sold all their material commented that the supply for lead ingots was so tight that suppliers who could procure the volumes were heard quoting premiums as high as 15-20¢/lb, though no deals were reported at those levels.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries inched down by 0.7¢/lb to 33¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday and is expected to remain within the 33-34¢/lb range since there is enough supply to cater to demand for batteries at present.
The LME Lead prices declined this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $2,022/mt down by $32/mt from $2,054/mt on Jan 27.