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
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."
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.
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.