Declines in Asian lead premium impact on domestic market. Recycled lead battery price shows downward trend
2016/02/05Regarding Asian lead premiums for 2016, 4N is around $125-135/t and 3N7 is around $100-110/t. There is a high possibility that those premiums are applied to the long-term contracts for domestic battery manufacturers for 2016, which will be signed in April.
Lead smelters are trying to lower raw material prices corresponding to the declining premiums.
A major refined lead smelter says, “We must lower bullion prices to be purchased from secondary lead smelters, too.” Domestic secondary lead smelters are likely to lower further the purchasing price of recycled lead battery scrap for their raw materials corresponding to possible price drops in bullion (crude lead) and soft lead (secondary lead) .
The recycled lead battery exporting prices for Korea seem to be still at a high level around JPY80-85 per kilo. Domestic refined lead smelters have tried to lower the purchasing price aggressively. The mainstream of the purchasing prices of refined lead smelters is around JPY70-75 per kilo.
But, according to the said major refined lead smelter, “It is necessary to lower below JPY70 per kilo after April.”
In fact, as exporters in Kansai region have lowered the purchasing prices close to JPY70 per kilo, it is possible that the price level of domestic recycled lead battery would be generally around JPY70 per kilo.
The demand for lead is steady, but the drops in premiums are commonly seen in Asia. Therefore, a staff from domestic refined lead smelter says, “Korean refined lead smelters must reach a limit by now. They have been able to sell secondary lead at a higher price even if they purchased recycled lead batteries at higher costs. But, the current market prices are around $100 and they are likely to drop to $90, which would pay little. Korean purchases at higher prices are coming to an end.”
Korean refined lead smelters except KZ are said to run into the red. Strangely, manufacturers continue to increase output or expand facilities in Korea even if they have deficits. As they had continued to offer higher prices and had given a huge impact on the market, Japanese refined lead smelters had been stuck until last year. But, it would be possible for them to continue to do that at least.
The domestic recycled lead battery prices are starting to drop on a full scale.
（Edited by Sasaki）