US lead and battery scrap prices were flat on Wednesday amid falling LME Lead prices and macroeconomic trends that could affect supply and demand in the near term.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries ticked up by 0.2¢/lb to 34.7¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday as supply and demand balanced.
Some producers anticipate the whole undrained batteries market could decline in October when smelters’ inventory volumes peak before mid-winter, which is considered high season for scrap battery collection and sales.
Many market participants have adopted a wait-and-see approach before gauging which way the lead scrap and batteries market will move. One market participant told Davis Index that dealers were observing the effects of Brexit, the upcoming US presidential election, and the COVID-19 pandemic to decipher short- to medium-term supply and demand trends.
Soft lead prices are slowly decelerating, with the index for heavy soft lead increasing by 0.4¢/lb to 74.2¢/lb delivered US consumer on softening domestic demand. Hard lead, which slid by half a penny last week, regained ground to raise the Davis Index by 0.4¢/lb to 68.9¢/lb delivered on Wednesday.
On the other hand, premiums, which trended up last week, dipped slightly. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium declined by 0.1¢/lb to 9.2¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.
The LME Lead decrease has kept domestic lead prices within a narrow range. The official three-month LME Lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,912/mt, dropping by $3/mt from $1,915/mt on September 9.