US lead scrap prices ticked down as exports remained muted after a spurt that tapered off last week, while batteries prices saw a slight rise on Wednesday due to the approaching winter season.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries increased by 0.3¢/lb to 29.8¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday amid continuing oversupply, which many producers expect will continue at least until winter sets in.
Looking ahead, some battery producers are facing difficulty in gauging the market which traditionally rises during the peak of the winter season before tapering off again in March and April. The change in administration, rising COVID-19 cases and an unpredictable export market are some factors causing uncertainty in the market.
The lead scrap market, that started rising in early November on increasing exports, inched down on Wednesday as exports remained subdued, leading to adequate domestic supply.
The Davis Index for heavy soft lead fell by 1.2¢/lb to 67.6¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead inched down by 0.4¢/lb to 62.2¢/lb delivered. Lead ingot premium rose in tandem with a strengthening LME Lead market, with the index rising by 0.1¢/lb to 10.2¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.
LME Lead prices followed the base metals complex and surged this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $2,042/mt $1,836/mt up by $102/mt from $1,940/mt on Nov 18.