US weekly lead scrap prices were rangebound on Wednesday despite strong scrap flows and exports.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 31.5¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday.
Closure of a lead smelter for four weeks due to maintenance and an overstocked Midwest market saw many buyers in that region stopping all purchases for the near term. Prices for lead batteries, which have averaged 32-34¢/lb since the beginning of the year are therefore anticipated to fall to around 29¢/lb if this trend continues.
The official three-month LME Lead contract decreased by $13.50/mt from May 19 to close at $2,188/mt today.
Healthy scrap flows kept lead scrap prices level despite strengthening export demand, with the index for heavy soft lead rising by 0.1¢/lb to 83.1¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead, which had soared by more than 7¢/lb last week, gave up some of its gains to decline by 2.3¢/lb to 82¢/lb delivered.
Lead ingot premium was flat at 17.6¢/lb delivered US consumer due to the ongoing shortage of refined lead, with offers heard as high as 20¢/lb from suppliers who had some material to spare.