US weekly lead scrap and battery prices increased for the second successive week on Wednesday on improved demand as the summer season wanes.
The weekly Davis Index for heavy soft lead climbed by 2¢/lb to 89.5¢/lb delivered while mixed hard lead increased by the same amount to 85.5¢/lb delivered US consumer.
Demand for lead scrap has improved over the past two weeks amid increasing inquiries for the material from Asian countries in the export market. In the domestic market too, demand for lead scrap ticked up this week as more smelters began resuming operations after the summer break. Market participants expect prices to trend higher in the winter months when the demand has historically outpaced supply.
Whole undrained batteries also inched up by 0.6¢/lb to 31.3¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday on strengthening demand in the South. The Midwest market, however, lags with prices in this region trending at least 3-4¢/lb lower than the South. The regional variance has also resulted in abundant supply, which still outpaces demand in this market.
The Davis Index Lead ingot premium trended flat at 18¢/lb delivered for the second successive week. Offers for this material were heard as high as 28¢/lb in some markets due to its extremely limited supply, though such offers did not result in deals and were at the highest end of the industry average.
The official three-month LME Lead contract trended flat from Aug 11 to close at $2,308/mt today.