Lead scrap markets in India were closed amid the COVID-19 lockdown but smelters expect demand to rise as summer season peaks. The Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) was at Rs83,725/mt ($1,097/mt) ex-works Mumbai consumer and Rs84,133/mt ex-works Delhi consumer on Wednesday, flat from the prior week prior.Adhering to the government’s decision, most scarp yards and lead smelters shut units.
Smelters struggled with low demand in March. Buying picked up towards the month end, but smelters soon were forced to shut operations due to the COVID lockdown.
Summers are peak season for secondary lead smelters and the battery scrap sellers. Production of inverters and home UPS systems increase in this season which drives demand for lead-acid batteries used in these goods. The Davis Indexes for secondary lead ingot Wednesday settled at Rs139,500/mt, ex-works Mumbai producer and Rs140,967/mt, ex-works Delhi producer flat from the prior week
Market participants are hopeful of healthy demand when the market re-opens and even a shortage of scrap if buying picks pace. However, there are indications that the lockdown could be extended in cities like Mumbai owing to a higher number of COVID cases. It would take more than six months for businesses to return to normalcy as sectors rely on each other for supply of raw materials and consumption of finished products, said traders hinting on the revival of the auto sector.
The three-month official LME lead contract was up by $11/mt and settled at $1,707/mt from $1,718/mt the prior Tuesday.
($1 = Rs76.26)