US lead and battery scrap prices trended sideways-to-soft on Wednesday amid weak LME Lead prices and abundant supply.
The weekly Davis Index for whole undrained batteries fell by 0.7¢/lb to 32.9¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday, falling for a second consecutive week as supply continued outstripping demand.
Demand for battery scrap is weakening, even amid robust supply. Market participants expect this trend to last until the winter season, which is historically when demand peaks.
Lead scrap demand in domestic and export markets is feeble, and an anemic LME has maintained downward pressure on prices. However, the opposite is occurring in Europe, according to a Midwest dealer, where “snug supply” has been met by strong demand and could lead to higher premiums.
Soft lead prices continued trending south, with the Davis Index for heavy soft lead falling by 1.2¢/lb to 67.6¢/lb delivered US consumer. Hard lead, which declined the most out of all grades last week, was flat at 62.9¢/lb delivered on Wednesday.
Lead ingot premiums prices dropped slightly amid adequate supply in the US and declining LME Lead prices. The Davis Index for lead ingot premium fell by 0.2¢/lb to 9.3¢/lb under the three-month LME Lead contract.
The LME Lead market remains in decline, with the official three-month LME Lead contract closing Wednesday at $1,793/mt, down by $28.50/mt from $1,821.50/mt on Sep 30.