SHANGHAI, Mar. 26 (SMM) – SHFE lead prices, influenced by LME lead prices, continued to fall and touched a low of RMB 15,500/mt last week, down 1.98% from RMB 16,000/mt on Monday. SHFE lead prices were relatively resilient, however, compared to the 5.68% drop in LME lead prices. SHFE lead prices are expected to move between RMB 15,550-15,850/mt this week.
In China’s domestic spot markets, spot prices were also resilient, falling only slightly to RMB 15,670-15,750/mt, down from RMB 15,800-15,900/mt early last week. Discounts narrowed from RMB 20-100/mt to RMB 0/mt, and even turned to premiums against the most active SHFE lead contract price. Early last week, smelters were selling goods normally, but downstream buyers were only buying on an as-needed basis. In mid-week, lead-acid battery producers were more willing to buy as lead prices fell, but found little selling interest from smelters. This week, with the month’s end, smelters will be more willing to sell goods to generate cash flows. However, smelters may still limit sales if lead prices are unacceptably low. With the approach of the Qingming Festival holiday in China (2-4 April), downstream enterprises will build raw material stocks for production. Spot prices in the coming week should be between RMB 15,650-15,850/mt, with premiums over SHFE lead prices between RMB 20-100/mt.