Secondary lead ingot prices in Mumbai rose in tandem with scrap prices this week. Trades improved on robust procurement of ingots by battery manufacturers. Delhi markets, on the other hand, reported flat to down prices for both secondary lead ingot and battery scrap.
The weekly Davis Index for secondary lead ingot, Wednesday, settled at Rs160,200/mt ($2,148/mt) ex-works Mumbai producer, up Rs1,533/mt amid robust demand from battery manufacturers. On Wednesday, scrap prices rose from a week ago driving the Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) to Rs94,390/mt del Mumbai consumer, up Rs1,834/mt amid stronger demand from smelters.
Delhi markets moved more in line with the LME lead. The official three-month LME lead contract, Tuesday, settled at $2,301.5/mt, down $12/mt or 0.52pc from the prior week. This has slightly pushed down lead scrap prices in Delhi. Market participants expect prices to move up as large-scale battery manufacturers are ramping up production. The weekly Davis Index for secondary lead ingots, Wednesday, settled at Rs159,417/mt ex-works Delhi producer, almost flat with no significant trades. The index for lead batteries (drained) settled at Rs92,333/mt del Delhi consumer, down by Rs57/mt from a week ago.
Export markets were relatively more resilient over the past months while demand in India was hurt owing to the second wave of COVID-19. Domestic demand is now recovering with auto manufacturers increasing assembly lines to ramp production. Despite the shortage of semiconductors, auto manufacturers are focused on meeting consumer demand during the upcoming festive season.
Higher consumption by the auto sector could benefit lead battery manufacturers, who also expect an increase in demand for industrial batteries. Demand for secondary lead ingots and scrap batteries could go up in the coming months if India does not suffer another round of strict lockdowns.
Mumbai and Delhi markets, this week, strengthened in terms of spreads as trades have improved with healthy demand from battery manufacturers based mainly in Mumbai. Market participants opined demand might exceed supply and shift buyers’ focus to other major lead markets. The imported secondary lead ingot is around Rs170,000/mt del consumer. Imported secondary lead ingot prices continue to be higher than domestic grades.