NEW YORK Prices for whole junk batteries have stabilized over the past week, although tags will likely weaken over the next few weeks as domestic supply continues to increase, market players told AMM.
Prices stood at around 34 to 36 cents per pound Sept. 12, unchanged from Sept. 3.
One battery buyer indicated that he was planning a 1-cent price adjustment at the beginning of next week. "We are still holding at 34 cents per pound but will be going to 33 cents on Monday," he said. "Flow is still really good and the London Metal Exchange seems to be falling off a bit at this point."
The LMEs three-month primary lead contract ended the official session at $2,103.50 per tonne (95.4 cents per pound) Sept. 12, down 3 percent from $2,168 per tonne (98.3 cents per pound) Sept. 3.
A number of smelters issued plans to lower prices in the second half of September, several sellers noted.
"Apparently all of the smelters have batteries coming out of their ears," one seller said, noting that the uptick in supply and forecast price drop were the result of a "perfect storm" of recent events. This includes a reduction in purchasing from troubled battery maker Exide Technologies Ltd., Milton, Ga., and a mid-summer heat wave across much of the United States.
A second seller said he couldnt remember the last time prices had been this volatile. "Its tough when you give a quote because you basically have to tell them the price is good until you hang up the phone," he said.