recycling group Recylex will close its secondary lead smelter
in Belgium in response to structural losses at the plant, the
company announced June 24.
The closure comes as
Recylex and other secondary lead producers struggle to overcome
overcapacity and high scrap battery prices in Europe.
"In spite of internal
efforts and numerous investments aimed at improving the
performance of the smelter facility, changing market conditions
have taken a heavy toll on the operating performance of this
business, which has become a structural lossmaker," Recylex
Last year, Recylex
recorded a 1.2 million impairment charge on shares in the
subsidiary that owns the smelter, FMM SA, after the plant
failed to break even despite recording average lead prices of
1,603 per tonne during the year.
The FMM plant produced
10,000 tonnes of secondary lead in 2012, contributing about 6.6
percent of the groups overall lead production, which
totaled 152,300 tonnes.
and secondary plant in Nordenham, Germany, produced a record
142,300 tonnes during the year, contributing strongly to
overall group sales of 471 million.
The company has seen
its profit margins from secondary lead production disintegrate
in recent years as overcapacity in Europe has promoted stiff
competition for scrap batteries.
The business recorded
losses of 6.6 million in 2012, compared with a
48,000 gain the previous year, partly as a result of the
"There is no sign of capacity closing, so we expect no major
change in the trend this year in terms of strong competition
for batteries. Some recyclers are suffering," a Recylex
spokesperson told AMM sister publication Metal
Bulletin in March.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.