US weekly lead scrap prices inched up on Wednesday as demand improved, and LME Lead prices inched up.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead increased by 0.7¢/lb to 90.5¢/lb delivered while mixed hard lead rose by 0.2¢/lb to 86¢/lb delivered US consumer.
Robust demand and an uptick in LME Lead prices have pushed lead scrap prices upwards over the last few weeks. In some regions, the material is being offered as high as 95¢/lb though no deals were confirmed at those levels. That said, labor shortages and higher transportation costs continue to challenge active trade with participants, expecting this trend to continue through September.
The index for whole undrained batteries trended sideways, inching down by 0.1¢/lb to 30.3¢/lb delivered as supply continues to outpace demand, especially in the Midwest. Participants in this region continue to report full smelter capacities which are impacting supply. Demand is only expected to increase and balance with the abundant volumes available if the requirement increases from smelters.
In the primary market, supply continues to remain limited for lead ingots, which has kept their premium rangebound but high. The Davis Index Lead ingot premium held firm at 18¢/lb delivered with offers heard as high as 28¢/lb delivered.
The official three-month LME Lead contract inched up by $5/mt from Sep 1 to close at $2,280/mt today.