US lead scrap prices were flat or increased slightly, depending on grade, on Wednesday.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries gave up its slight gain from last week and moved down by 0.1¢/lb to 33¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday.
Demand is rising, but supply also remains elevated in this market, according to some market participants. Some participants believe that even if demand improves further, there are enough volumes to keep battery prices within the 32-34¢/lb range in the domestic and export markets.
The lead scrap export market is slowly looking up again as orders begin to trickle in. According to some market participants, the export market may pick pace again in February. However, this week, scrap prices have mostly inched up on improving demand in the domestic market.
Thus, adequate supply and demand in the domestic market saw the Davis Indexes for heavy soft lead and hard lead inch up on Wednesday after two consecutive weeks of declines. Soft lead increased by 1.2¢/lb to 75.6¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead climbed by 0.4¢/lb to 70.2¢/lb delivered on Wednesday.
The weekly Davis Index for lead ingot premiums also increased by 0.4¢/lb to 11.3¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract. The continuing tightness in lead ingot supply has seen volumes remaining unavailable despite demand for the material.
The LME Lead prices were rangebound this week with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $2,032.50/mt down by $1/mt from $2,033.50/mt on Jan 13.