US lead scrap prices trended sideways, while battery scrap tags declined further as supply outpaced demand.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries declined by 1.8¢/lb to 29.9¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday after sustained oversupply throughout October. According to some market participants, the decline is also partly due to lower battery scrap exports.
On the domestic front, suppliers view the current price decrease as a temporary phase since battery producers continue to buy scrap batteries for recycling. In fact, a supplier told Davis Index that demand from battery makers remains strong with some producers already having their order books for new batteries full until February 2021.
The outcome of the US presidential elections is not likely to impact supply and demand trends in the lead scrap and batteries market, though participants expect volatility in the LME market to continue until a clear winner is declared. Macroeconomic factors such as exchange rates, which could be impacted by the results, may affect lead prices in the short term.
LME Lead prices began climbing this week. The official three-month LME Lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,822/mt up by $41/mt from $1,781/mt on Oct 28.
Lead scrap prices trended slightly up this week amid adequate flows and better domestic demand. The Davis Index for heavy soft lead increased by 0.2¢/lb to 67.3¢/lb delivered US consumer, while hard lead also inched up by 1.5¢/lb to 65¢/lb delivered.
The prices for lead ingot premiums continued to rise for the second consecutive week in tandem with a higher LME Lead market. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium increased by 0.1¢/lb to 9.9¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.