SHANGHAI, Dec 20 (SMM) – Operating rates across licensed smelters of secondary lead in Jiangsu, Anhui and Henan provinces averaged 48.3% in the week ending December 20, down 7.5 percentage points from the previous week.
The average rate in Henan plunged 30.9 percentage points to 31.7% as Henan Jinli halted operation of its battery scrap dismantling lines from December 14 due to limited feedstock purchases and depleted inventories.
Operating rates in Anhui averaged 40%, up 0.6 percentage point on the week as Anhui Huaxin extended its production hours. The rate in Jiangsu remained unchanged from a week ago at 70%.
Shanghai lead futures consolidated around 15,000 yuan/mt this week. Secondary lead smelters in Taijiang Industrial Park, Guizhou province remained under rectifications, SMM learned. The spread in battery scrap prices in different regions has narrowed, but cheap cargoes remained in short supply.
Limited availability of secondary lead, especially in north China, together with a shortage of primary lead, drove downstream consumers to secondary refined lead and enhanced the bargaining power of secondary refined lead producers.
As of December 20, ex-work prices of secondary refined lead stood flat against the average prices of SMM 1# lead, with some deals made in premiums, SMM assessed.