US lead scrap and whole undrained batteries prices trended sideways to up as better demand was met with abundant supply, moving prices in a narrow range.
The weekly index for whole undrained batteries gave up its gains from last week, inching down by 0.4¢/lb to 33¢/lb delivered US consumer, while the index for heavy soft lead rose again by 0.5¢/lb to 66.5¢/lb delivered.
Battery sales remain robust on strong seasonal demand, though supply is at an elevated level according to some market participants. Order books remain full at battery companies though uncertainty around a potential second round of shutdowns due to the rising COVID-19 cases is starting to creep in keeping battery prices within the 32-34¢/lb range depending on the region.
Soft lead scrap prices, which rose continuously for the past month led by exports inched up for the second straight week indicating that demand remains strong amid abundant supply of the material.
After rising last week, the index for mixed hard lead ticked up by 0.7¢/lb to 60.7¢/lb delivered consumer as demand for the grade increased. Premiums that had increased to 8.7¢/lb under the three-month LME contract last week gave back those gains to settle at 8.5¢/lb under the same LME contract, down by 0.2¢/lb.
The official three-month LME lead contract closed Wednesday at $1853.50/mt up by $22/mt from $1,831.50 on July 8.