US weekly lead scrap and battery prices increased on Wednesday despite the volatility in LME Lead due to balanced supply and demand.
The official three-month LME Lead contract decreased by $83/mt from Jul 28 to close at $2,308/mt today.
Lead scrap prices inched up on Wednesday after trending flat over the past week with the weekly indices for heavy soft lead and mixed hard lead increasing by 1¢/lb to 87.5¢/lb delivered and 83.5¢/lb delivered US consumer, respectively, as supply and demand balanced. Demand for heavy soft lead strengthened during the week with bids as high as 89¢/lb though no deals were heard at those prices.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries also inched up by 0.1¢/lb to 30.7¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday as demand, especially in the South, improved. Offers for lead batteries in the region were heard at around 33-35¢/lb though the Midwest lagged with offers averaging at around 29-30¢/lb during the week.
Supply continues to outpace demand in the batteries market despite the latter improving over the past few weeks. Still, participants anticipate an upward movement in prices by September when both supply and demand balance and the summer months come to an end.
The Davis Index Lead ingot premium trended flat at 18¢/lb delivered due to extremely tight supply for the grade that has resulted in spot deals drying up completely.