SHANGHAI, Mar. 14 (SMM) – Prices for #1 refined lead have been down RMB 275/mt after Chinese New Year holiday, while prices for secondary refined lead (Pb ≥ 99.97) fell a mere RMB 50/mt with downward room limited due to high costs.
As both #1 refined lead (Pb 99.994) and secondary refined lead (Pb ≥ 99.97) for alloy production, secondary refined lead prices move in tandem with #1 lead prices, generally RMB 100-200/mt lower than #1 lead prices. However, #1 lead prices slipped from RMB 14,875/mt to RMB 14,600/mt after the holiday, while secondary refined lead prices held firm near RMB 14,500/mt, level with #1 lead prices in Henan and Hunan. Smelters still showed no intention to cut prices for secondary refined lead since the price is close to the cost line.
Scrap battery traders closed early before the holiday, tightening scrap battery supply and holding prices firm. Prices for scrap batteries, primarily electric vehicle batteries, remained high at RMB 8,300-8,400/mt after the holiday despite increasing supplies, as buying interest among secondary lead smelters improved. Thus, the high input cost lent some support to secondary refined lead prices.
As costs of secondary lead with low antimony content (including shipping charges, refining costs and taxes) are close to RMB 14,500/mt, secondary lead smelters were not wiling to sell goods due to meager profits.