Secondary lead ingots and battery scrap prices in Mumbai amid fears of a complete lockdown due to rising COVID-19 cases. In Delhi and Mumbai, a partial lockdown has already been imposed. Most of these restrictions are likely to stay until the end of the month. The indexes for Mumbai dropped while the indexes for Delhi gained slightly over the week.
The weekly Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) on Wednesday settled at Rs89,500/mt ($1,206.69/mt) del consumer, down by Rs667/mt as offers were lowered in line with LME levels. The official three-month LME contract dipped marginally to $1,966/mt on Tuesday from the week prior. Domestic prices softened on Monday in a bid to attract buyers ahead of a possible stricter lockdown. The weekly index for secondary lead ingot also dipped by Rs150,500/mt ex-works producer, in line with a drop in raw material prices.
The market for Mumbai weakened in terms of spreads compared to the prior week. Spreads for secondary lead ingot prices narrowed by 2.25pc and for lead batteries (drained) widened by 1.14pc. Further disruptions for the next 10 days is expected by the market participants. Mumbai is under a night curfew during weekdays and complete lockdown during weekends. Many workers have feared that a complete lockdown may be announced and have fled back to their hometowns.
Lead batteries (drained) in Delhi gained by almost Rs1,200/mt from the prior week and secondary lead ingot prices were revised upwards by approximately Rs1,300/mt. A higher raw material prices resulted in smelters to oppose lower bids from consumers. The weekly Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) settled at Rs94,500/mt del consumer, up by Rs1,250/mt on steady trades despite the rising COVID-19 cases. Demand supported prices on Wednesday in Delhi.
The weekly Index for secondary lead ingot on Wednesday settled at Rs160,011/mt ex-works producer, up by Rs1,344/mt. Prices moved in line with raw material prices. Delhi has a night curfew in place, between 10pm to 5am until April 30. This is not affecting production currently, but will hurt consumption from final users. Markets for Delhi strengthened for lead batteries (drained) in terms of spreads but weakened for secondary lead ingots. For lead batteries (drained) prices, the spreads narrowed marginally by 0.15pc and for secondary lead ingots, the spreads for its price index narrowed by 0.29pc compared to the prior week.
For the next seven to ten days, markets in India will remain uncertain regarding lead prices and much would depend on how the COVID-19 situation unravels further. Prices in southern India have also increased weekly similar to Delhi markets. Battery manufacturers in India are running smoothly which should support demand for remelted lead and refined lead in the coming weeks.