Supplies of secondary lead are likely to tighten for the rest of August, as thinner margins erode production enthusiasm across secondary lead smelters.
In Henan, two medium-sized secondary lead smelters suspended as of August 22. This lowered daily production in the area by 500-600 mt from early July. Most small secondary smelters have suspended from the end of July. Operating mills currently operate at 40-50% of capacity, we learned.
Price of battery scrap that fell slower than lead prices accounted for smaller profits from the start of July. As of Wednesday August 22, prices of secondary refined lead weakened some 3,275 yuan/mt from early July, and prices of battery scrap fell around 775 yuan/mt.
As of August 22, prices of secondary refined lead stood at 17,650-17,800 yuan/mt, and prices of electric vehicle waste batteries stood at 9,650-9,800 yuan/mt.
In Henan province, offers for secondary refined lead exceeded those of primary lead as secondary lead smelters held back. However, we retains its view that such premiums are unlikely to last much longer, as the smaller price advantage of secondary materials received little downstream demand.