US weekly lead scrap prices trended sideways on Wednesday in a subdued market.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries decreased by 1.1¢/lb to 31.4¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday as expected by market participants who believe it will be at least another 3-4 weeks before the oversupply in the market reverses course.
A weaker export market for scrap batteries, which are mostly shipped to Asian markets such as the Middle East, India, and Korea, also put pressure on battery prices this week. Bids for the material were heard at around 30-32¢/lb with limited container availability and port congestion deterring importers from booking larger volumes.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead slipped by a penny to 79.9¢/lb delivered US consumer and hard lead fell by 0.8¢/lb to 78.3¢/lb delivered.
Lead ingot premiums increased by 0.8¢/lb to 14.3¢/lb delivered as supply remained extremely limited. Participants anticipate the dearth in the primary lead market to continue over several months unless there is a significant movement in the LME Lead market, which could bring out some volumes.
LME lead prices were rangebound this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $1,944.50/mt up by $0.50/mt from Mar 10.