US weekly lead scrap prices trended flat on Wednesday after two successive weeks of increases, owing to a decline in LME Lead and continued labor shortages.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead remained unchanged at 89.8¢/lb delivered while mixed hard lead was flat at 85.8¢/lb delivered US consumer.
Demand remains robust but labor shortages owing to COVID-19 and some people not willing to work because of the government-aided financial support is impacting flows. Moreover, high freight rates and maximum production capacity for finished goods are keeping prices rangebound. Participants expect this trend to continue through September.
Supply continues to outpace demand for scrap batteries in the Midwest. Prices in this region are now trending at least 3-4¢/lb below the index. In the meantime, demand has picked up in the South and Southeast markets where buyers are willing to pay anywhere between 30-34¢/lb for the material. As a result, the weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries remained rangebound, ticking down by 0.2¢/lb to 30.5¢/lb delivered US consumer.
Lead ingot supply continues to remain tight, and the Davis Index Lead ingot premium climbed by 0.5¢/lb to 18¢/lb delivered with offers heard as high as 10¢/lb above the index.
The official three-month LME Lead contract decreased by $53.50/mt from Aug 25 to close at $2,275/mt today.