US lead scrap prices trended sideways to up on stronger export demand, while battery scrap tags inched down on Wednesday as supply continued to outpace demand for the third straight week.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries declined by 0.4¢/lb to 29.5¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday as a trend of oversupply, which began in October, continued this month.
Battery producers and buyers expect prices to remain depressed in the winter months, which is traditionally a peak season for battery scrap, thanks to the readily available supply in the market. Additional demand is likely to be catered to by inventory that is already available.
The lead scrap market, on the other hand, inched up after demand for the material rose in the export market, especially to destinations like Korea. According to an East Coast supplier, bids are being heard at around 68-70¢/lb fas this week with some going as high as 70-71¢/lb fas US port. Adequate flows and better demand have also improved domestic prices for soft lead.
The Davis Index for heavy soft lead increased by 2.7¢/lb to 70¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead was flat at 65¢/lb delivered. Lead ingot premium remained unchanged at 9.9¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract after rising slightly last week.
LME Lead prices also increased this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $1,836/mt up by $14/mt from $1,822/mt on Nov 3.