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Lead scrap buyers fear Mexico export rules

Keywords: Tags  lead scrap, zinc scrap, mexico lead exports, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Prices for whole junk batteries held steady at 38 to 41 cents per pound July 23, but several sources told AMM that rumors of pending changes to Mexico’s export laws could cause domestic price volatility in the coming weeks.

"I think something major is happening with lead in Mexico," one lead consumer source said. "I have heard that companies in Mexico have to get some type of new permit to bring material into the U.S. It could cause serious issues for people who rely heavily on Mexican imports."

"I heard a rumor that there were some issues getting batteries over the border," a second consumer source said, adding that he couldn’t confirm the reasons behind the problem.

The market wariness came on the heels of a rule modification posted in Mexico’s Gazette requiring shippers of copper products and copper-bearing scrap in Mexico to be listed in a new official register (, July 15). The rule stipulates that exporters who ship gold, silver and copper-bearing scrap will be required to apply for listing in the registry. AMM has been unable to confirm whether exporters of lead scrap may soon face similar registration requirements.

Smelters’ buying prices held steady at 78 to 80 cents per pound for lead scrap, 82 to 84 cents for remelt lead and 82 to 83 cents for cable lead. All other secondary grades were unchanged.

Prices for zinc scrap also were unchanged.

The London Metal Exchange’s three-month lead contract ended the official session July 23 at $2,047.50 per tonne (92.9 cents per pound), unchanged from two weeks earlier.

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