The prices for US zinc scrap moved down or were flat for all grades except new zinc diecast on Thursday.
The LME Zinc market kept moderating during the week. It started slightly down on Monday before gaining back some of those losses through the week. As a result, the three-month official LME Zinc contract closed Thursday at $2,839/mt up by $71/mt from $2,768/mt on Dec 3.
Annual contract negotiations are ending this week and according to market participants, trade will likely remain quiet as the holiday season begins. However, a rising export market is raising prices for some zinc scrap grades, especially new zinc diecast as supply for the grade tightens. The weekly Davis Index for new zinc diecast which had dropped 1.5¢/lb last week, made up for some of its losses, rising by 2.3¢/lb to 77.7¢/lb delivered US consumer.
Rising demand for finished steel, which saw ferrous scrap prices for December settling with increases of $50-100/gt from November settled prices, is also likely to spur the demand for zinc scrap moving forward. For now though, demand has remained steady resulting in slight price corrections for dross grades.
The prices for both the dross grades ticked down slightly amid stable supply and demand and the closing of annual contracts. The index for galvanizers bottom dross inched down by 0.9¢/lb to 77.4¢/lb delivered US consumer, while galvanizers top dross fell 1.8¢/lb to 76.2¢/lb delivered.
Special high-grade zinc premium began to trend down last week as supply increased but has leveled off since then. The index for SHG zinc premium held at 7.9¢/lb under the three-month LME Zinc contract on Thursday. Market participants expect premium to touch 7¢/lb under the LME Zinc contract by January next year as supply increases, especially in the secondary zinc market.