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Scrap lead battery prices inch higher

Keywords: Tags  scrap lead, lead battery, LME, London Metal Exchange, lead scrap prices, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Free-market prices for scrap lead batteries rose a penny despite four consecutive days of declines on the London Metal Exchange.

Smelters’ buying prices for whole spent lead-acid batteries rose this week to a range of 37 to 40 cents per pound delivered from 37 to 39 cents previously.

One battery buyer said that he has seen strong demand over the last couple of weeks and doesn’t expect “any major near-term fluctuation” in prices.

Three-month lead traded at $2,260 per tonne ($1.02 per pound) in the LME’s official session on Jan. 16, down 6.6 percent from $2,419.50 per tonne ($1.10 per pound) on Jan. 3.

The falloff on the LME was the result of "a few major players who have temporarily left the market," one broker said.

Meanwhile, all other lead scrap grades were unchanged.

"Scrap lead has been more or less flat over the past week," the broker added.

"Seems like people had previously inched up with the LME but have since drifted backwards," a second broker said, indicating that there might be "growing interest toward the end of the month."

Meanwhile, galvanizers’ top dross moved down to a range of 65 to 67 cents per pound from 66 to 68 cents per pound previously.

"Things have been pretty flat across the board," one zinc scrap buyer said. "People were anticipating that business would be a little stronger in the new year. That hasn’t happened yet."

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