NEW YORK Most free-market lead scrap prices weakened this week, with market participants noting that tags are following recent dips on the London Metal Exchange.
Lead scrap prices fell to a range of 78 to 80 cents per pound from 79 to 81 cents previously, remelt lead weakened to 82 to 84 cents per pound from 83 to 85 cents and cable lead narrowed to 82 to 83 cents per pound from 82 to 84 cents.
The drift followed declines on the LME, with three-month lead ending the official session at $2,084 per tonne (94.5 cents per pound) June 18, down 5.8 percent from $2,214 per tonne ($1 per pound) two weeks earlier. Prices recovered slightly on June 19 to $2,091.50 per tonne (94.9 cents per pound).
Meanwhile, whole junk batteries remained unchanged at 39 to 41 cents per pound, with sources noting that one major buyer was buoying the entire market.
"I have heard they are overpaying, but I am not sure why they are doing it," one battery seller told AMM. "They must really need the material at this point."
Zinc scrap tags fell across the board, sources said.
New zinc clippings fell to 63 to 65 cents per pound from 65 to 67 cents, old zinc to 48 to 50 cents from 50 to 52 cents and galvanizers dross to 65 to 67 cents from 67 to 69 cents.
The LMEs three-month primary zinc contract ended the official session at $1,852 per tonne (84 cents per pound) June 18, down 4.7 percent from $1,943.50 per tonne (88.2 cents per pound) two weeks earlier. On June 19, the contract closed at $1,871 per tonne (84.9 cents per pound).