The weekly Davis Index for US heavy soft lead rose by 0.2¢/lb to 65.5¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday as domestic prices leveled off despite rising exports for the material.
Demand from Asian countries such as India and South Korea is driving up domestic soft lead prices, but domestic scrap traders believe this is a temporary rise and expect prices will start feeling the downward pressure as soon as the volumes to these countries have been met. But until then, export scrap lead prices continue to rise with some exporters offering the material at around 69-70¢/lb fas US ports.
After trending sideways last week, the index for mixed hard lead declined by 1.7¢/lb to 59.3¢/lb. Hard lead was riding the coattails of rising soft lead prices but weak demand in the domestic market has brought down the prices this week, according to some market participants.
Supply continues to outstrip demand for whole undrained lead batteries with the Davis Index for this grade falling by 0.3¢/lb to 33¢/lb on Wednesday. However, export prices for the grade have continued their uptrend as junk batteries, which are more expensive to process in the US because of regulations, find their way to more conducive markets.
The index for lead ingot premiums held at 8¢/lb under the three-month LME lead contract.
The official three-month LME lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,773.50 up by $18/mt from $1,755.50/mt on June 24.