US lead scrap prices decreased on Wednesday for most grades, as the market felt the impact of Covid-19 spreading in the country.
The Davis Index for whole undrained lead batteries decreased by a penny to 37¢/lb delivered.
The index for heavy soft lead declined for the second straight week, decreasing by 2¢/lb on Wednesday to 70¢/lb, while mixed hard lead and the premium on lead ingots remained unchanged at 68¢/lb and 9.5¢/lb, respectively.
The Covid-19 outbreak has not yet impacted supply chains, but market participants are feeling its effect on lead prices, which, until now, were outliers and rose steadily in a weak base metals market.
Lead scrap and battery prices tend to thrive in a volatile price environment. However, LME lead’s narrow movement over the week made it hard for market participants to offer their material at higher prices. The three-month official LME lead contract increased by $1 from $1,840/mt on Feb 26 to close Wednesday at $1,841/mt.