The prices for US zinc scrap inched up for some grades on Thursday as demand for the material remained high in the domestic and export markets.
The LME Zinc market which began the week slightly below its close on Friday gained momentum through the week with the three-month official LME Zinc contract closing on Thursday at $2,870/mt, up by $31/mt from $2,839/mt on Dec 10.
According to some market participants, the tight supply in the LME Zinc warehouses towards the end of the year along with the conclusion of annual contract negotiations are likely to raise zinc premiums in January.
The demand for galvanizer grades remains robust in the US as steel and automotive firms ramp up production amid an active ferrous market. Moreover, a rising export market has also driven prices up for most zinc scrap grades. The weekly Davis Index for new zinc diecast increased further on Thursday to 80.7¢/lb delivered US consumer, up by 3¢/lb.
The prices for both the dross grades, which had slightly declined at the end of annual contract negotiations, inched up this week with the index for galvanizers bottom dross rising by 1.3¢/lb to 78.7¢/lb delivered US consumer, while galvanizers top dross ticked up by 0.6¢/lb to 76.8¢/lb delivered.
Special high-grade zinc premiums, which leveled off last week, climbed back up on Thursday amid tightening stocks at LME warehouses and better-than-expected annual contract negotiations. The index for SHG zinc premium rose by 0.1¢/lb to 8¢/lb under the three-month LME Zinc contract on Thursday.