Indian lead scrap markets were quiet on Wednesday with thin trades in Delhi and Mumbai. The Davis Index for secondary lead ingot settled at Rs139,500/mt ($1,206/mt) ex-works Mumbai producer down by Rs4,750/mt as traders expected prices to fall post-lockdown. The index for secondary lead ingot remained flat at Rs139,000/mt ex-works Delhi producer from prior Wednesday as few trades were heard.
Traders said no substantial deals took place despite several downstream consumers resuming operations. Many sectors across the lead value chain are yet to resume and a lack of workers and truck drivers is holding back production.
In Mumbai and Delhi, smelters focused on completing delivery of previously booked consignments on previous prices with no new purchase contracts until June 1. Prior to the lockdown, many downstream end-users had stocked up scrap inventories and which has led to weak demand and downward pressure on prices.
Imports of lead ingots and scrap have resumed in low volumes which indicates a revival of demand. Market participants are wary of demand slump and expect a boost from the auto sector, a bearish lead market is what we are heading towards, opined smelters. COVID-19 has dampened the sentiments and traders anticipate prices to fall further which could result in panic selling as soon as the markets re-open.
The Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) settled flat at Rs82,800/mt ex-works Delhi consumer and Rs80,363/mt ex-works Mumbai consumer, down by Rs3,362/mt on Wednesday as trades were negligible amid low demand.
Primary producers of lead in India have revised prices upwards by Rs4,400/mt to approximately Rs150,300/mt as on May 25 from Rs145,900/mt, on May 21. Primary metal prices move in line with LME, MCX, and imports. The three-month official LME lead contract settled at $1,660/mt on Tuesday from $1,611/mt the prior week, up by $49/mt from the week prior.
($1 = Rs75.68)