NEW YORK Free-market
scrap automotive battery prices have dropped further as leading
buyers are believed to be flush with supply, with one trader
forecasting that prices could reach the mid-30-cent-per-pound
Whole auto batteries dropped to
38 to 40 cents per pound from 40 to 41 cents previously. All
other lead scrap prices were unchanged.
"Theres no real push in
the market. Most of the smelters tell us theyre getting
all they need," one broker said.
"Everybody is getting what they
need and more right now," a scrap buyer agreed.
Some leading players have left
the market because their warehouses are full, a second scrap
buyer told AMM.
One major battery manufacturer
confirmed Tuesday that it wasnt buying on the spot market
and was subsisting on returned junk batteries from its
closed-loop supply chain.
Market participants forecast
further price declines as winter conditions set in and as
demand is removed from the market by Milton, Ga.-based Exide
Technologies closure of its Frisco, Texas, plant on Nov.
amm.com, Nov. 7) and its Reading, Pa., facility by
March 31, 2013 (
amm.com, Nov. 9).
"Im pretty sure were
headed to 35 to 36 cents per pound," the broker said. "Soon
well start to see the effect of Exide closing that
Reading plant, because that will open an even bigger pool of
The broker added that the
reduction in demand from U.S. smelters has made the export
market more attractive to some sellers.
"The Canadian smelters around
Montreal and Toronto seem to be paying a pretty good price," he
Meanwhile, new zinc clippings
moved up to a range of 62 to 64 cents per pound from 60 to 62
cents, while old zinc increased to 47 to 49 cents per pound
from 45 to 47 cents.
The three-month zinc contract
closed the London Metal Exchanges official session at
$1,923.50 per tonne (87.2 cents per pound) Wednesday, up 0.9
percent from $1,907 per tonne (86.5 cents per pound) Nov.