US lead scrap and whole undrained batteries prices trended up on improved demand and higher production volumes.
The weekly index for whole undrained batteries increased by 1.5¢/lb to 34.5¢/lb delivered US consumer, while the index for heavy soft lead ticked down by 0.2¢/lb to 66.3¢/lb delivered, but still remained a cent above some bids being heard in the market for the grade.
Seasonal demand remains strong for batteries and producers have ramped up production to meet the additional demand, helping battery prices to breach the 32-34¢/lb range this week. According to some market participants, battery demand has normalized to levels generally seen during the summer season and battery producers are rising to meet the elevated sales.
Demand for lead in most US sectors is up and has also led to an uptick in lead scrap prices, some producers told Davis Index. However, demand for lead scrap is being driven by regional needs with some areas that have a higher requirement for the material witnessing elevated pricing. Higher demand has also seen lead ingot premiums and the market for hard lead tick up.
Mixed hard lead continued its uptrend on Wednesday with the Davis Index for the grade increasing by 0.6¢/lb to 61.3¢/lb. Premiums, which have remained volatile through the month, increased to 8.9¢/lb under the same LME contract, up by 0.4¢/lb, mostly on rising demand.
The official three-month LME lead contract closed Wednesday at $1,821.50, down by $32/mt from $1,853.50/mt on July 15.