US lead and battery scrap prices decreased on Wednesday after the LME Lead market continued declining and demand softened.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries fell by 0.8¢/lb to 33.6¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday, extending price decreases that began Sep 23 and are expected to persist until winter.
Battery scrap supply is robust and decreases in the LME Lead market have softened prices, albeit regionally. The price of battery scrap varied between 31-34¢/lb, especially in the Midwest, according to some market participants.
Apart from the weak LME Lead market, demand for lead scrap moderated in the domestic and export markets over the past week. Moreover, scrap yards have recevied uneven flows, as concerns about a second round of shutdowns induced by the COVID-19 pandemic mount. Market participants are closely watching the result of the US presidential election to gauge the market sentiment moving forward.
Soft lead price decreases continued for a second consecutive week, with the Davis Index for heavy soft lead further falling by 3¢/lb to 68.8¢/lb delivered US consumer. Hard lead, however, saw the most significant decline this week, with the index decreasing by 6.1¢/lb to 62.9¢/lb delivered on Wednesday.
Prices for lead ingot premiums were flat amid adequate supply and declining LME Lead prices. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium fell by 0.1¢/lb to 9.5¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.
The LME Lead market dropped for the third week in a row, with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $1,821.50/mt, down by $51.50/mt from $1,873/mt on Sep 23.