NEW YORK Free-market
scrap lead battery prices have fallen another 2 cents per
pound, with further drops forecast by market sources, while
other lead scrap grades moved up along with gains on the London
Junk auto batteries dropped to a
range of 36 to 38 cents per pound from 38 to 40 cents previous,
while lead scrap moved up to 78 to 80 cents per pound from 74
to 75 cents and lead cable rose to 80 to 82 cents per pound
from 78 to 80 cents.
The LMEs three-month
primary lead price ended Wednesdays official session at
$2,238 per tonne ($1.015 per pound), up 4.2 percent from $2,148
per tonne (97.4 cents per pound) on Nov. 21.
While one broker reported an
isolated case of a smelter paying 40 cents per pound for an
order of junk batteries, the majority of business reported to
AMM was at lower numbers.
Market sources expect prices to
fall further with the onset of winter. "Its going to be
33 to 35 cents soon," one buyer said, and the broker agreed. "I
can see 35 cents before too long," he said.
Prices have come off recently as
supply improves and major consumers of the item exit the
market, with the broker noting that one major buyer currently
is not even giving quotes.
However, sources dont
expect demand to taper off to the extent that prices will
stabilize just yet. "Our inventories are in good shape, but we
plan on staying in the market," a second buyer said.
"People buy batteries and
dont sell because theyll go back up eventually.
Batteries dont take up much space," a second broker
Meanwhile, historically high
spot premiums for primary lead may have played a part in rising
prices for mixed lead scrap and lead cable.
"The non-battery items have gone
up as the LME has gone up. Scrap continues to be the better buy
as opposed to paying the premiums on primary lead. Anyone who
can subsist on scrap is best advised to do that," the first
Primary lead is currently
trading at a premium of 13 to 15 cents per pound over LME.