Prices for US zinc scrap moved within a narrow range, depending on grade, in a quiet Thursday market. The new zinc diecast grade, however, fell by 5.4¢/lb from last week because of soft demand.
The weekly Davis Index for new zinc diecast declined to 73.3¢/lb delivered US consumer, while galvanizer grades ticked up by more than a half-penny on Thursday. The index for zinc galvanizers bottom dross moved up by 0.8¢/lb to 76¢/lb delivered US consumer, while zinc galvanizers top dross rose by 0.7¢/lb to 72¢/lb delivered.
However, the index for special high-grade zinc premium declined by 0.1¢/lb to 8.5¢/lb under the three-month LME contract amid weak LME Zinc prices and better supply.
This week, LME Zinc recovered some of the losses it incurred over the past week, with the three-month official LME Zinc contract closing Thursday at $2,484/mt, up by $75/mt from $2,409/mt on September 10. Despite the softness, market participants are bullish about LME Zinc’s short-term recovery, with some anticipating it will touch $2,540/mt before settling.
Demand from US steelmakers for zinc galvanizer grades is stronger than it is for new zinc diecast, as are exports to countries like China, where steel demand and production are rising. However, the market is eyeing macroeconomic trends, like the current debate about the fiscal stimulus bill, fluctuating exchange rates, and the US presidential election, before making any additional decisions.