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Scrap lead battery prices inch higher

Keywords: Tags  lead scrap prices, lead battery prices, junk battery prices, zinc scrap prices, LME, fiscal cliff, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Scrap lead battery free-market prices have moved up a penny on the back of higher prices on the London Metal Exchange, although some buyers say they are waiting to see if the rise is a temporary symptom of post-fiscal cliff optimism.

Junk batteries moved up to a range of 37 to 39 cents per pound this week from 36 to 38 cents previously, while all other lead scrap grades were unchanged.

One buyer said that his company had received quotes as high as 41 cents per pound but “didn’t get a solid quote.” A second buyer noted that quotes for delivery into the South were running into the 40-cent range.

A third buyer, who previously told AMM that his company would reduce quotes to 35 cents per pound from 36 cents at the start of January (, Dec. 19), instead increased his quotes to 37 cents per pound.

The LME’s three-month lead price traded at $2,419.50 per tonne ($1.10 per pound) in Thursday’s official session, up 3.7 percent from $2,333 per tonne ($1.06 per pound) on Dec. 19.

“The lead market is bumping up a little bit, but I’m trying not to move too much,” the third buyer said. “The movement of scrap is still pretty good.”

One broker noted that the presence of “euphoric” LME prices in a traditionally slower holiday period was causing some uncertainty over pricing especially astrading remained slow. “We’ll have to wait until next week, when some of the big players come back into the market. If the LME stays up, they’ll be looking at inventory and production schedules,” he said.

Meanwhile, galvanizers’ top dross moved up to a range of 66 to 68 cents per pound from 65 to 67 cents previously, while all other zinc scrap prices were unchanged.

“The LME is up a penny, but it could be a one-day thing with the bump from the fiscal cliff,” one buyer said.

Three-month zinc traded at $2,127 per tonne (97 cents per pound) in the official session Thursday up from $2,118 per tonne (96 cents per pound) Wednesday.

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