NEW YORK Most free-market lead scrap prices rose this week in step with higher exchange prices, according to market participants.
The price range for lead scrap strengthened to 84 to 86 cents per pound from 79 to 80 cents previously, remelt lead moved up to 87 to 88 cents per pound from 83 to 84 cents and cable lead rose to 87 to 88 cents per pound from 83 to 84 cents.
The increase followed upticks on the London Metal Exchange, with three-month lead ending the official session Aug. 20 at $2,234 per tonne ($1.01 per pound), up 4.9 percent from $2,130 per tonne (96.6 cents per pound) two weeks earlier.
But whole junk batteries slipped to 37 to 40 cents per pound from 38 to 41 cents, with sources noting that a supply glut coupled with weaker demand had caused tags to weaken.
"Even though the LME price is up a bit, they (buyers) are trying to get the price down a little bit because there are a lot of batteries on the market," one scrap trader told AMM. "Most feel batteries are a bit overpriced at the moment." The trader added that junk battery buyers likely will increase purchasing after the Labor Day holiday. "Thats when the busy season starts," he said.
Meanwhile, zinc scrap prices were mostly up this week, with new zinc clippings rising to 65 to 67 cents per pound from 63 to 65 cents and old zinc at 50 to 52 cents per pound vs. 48 to 50 cents Aug. 6.
The LMEs three-month zinc contract ended the official session Aug. 20 at $1,983 per tonne (89.9 cents per pound), up 6.2 percent from $1,867 per tonne (84.7 cents per pound) two weeks earlier.