US weekly lead scrap prices trended sideways on Wednesday amid adequate supply and demand for the material.
The official three-month LME Lead contract decreased by $13/mt from Jun 1 to close at $2,192.50/mt today.
Demand for lead scrap remains strong on healthy scrap flows. That said, while buyers are looking to replace primary lead material, which remains in extremely tight supply, with scrap, the closure of some smelters for maintenance during summer may impact supply.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead delivered US consumer was flat at 84.2¢/lb on Wednesday while mixed hard lead was rangebound at 82¢/lb delivered for the second successive week.
Whole undrained batteries inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 31.3¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday. Buyers are out of the market and are expected to remain away until the recently shut smelters reopen after maintenance this summer. Prices for lead batteries are expected to fall to around 29¢/lb by the end of June due to this trend.
Lead ingot premium was also flat at 17.5¢/lb delivered US consumer as the ongoing shortage of refined lead continued to keep participants out of the market. Still, offers for this grade are being heard at as much as 20¢/lb, but there is no material to sell at those rates either.