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Lead Battery Scrap Market Recent Trend2017#9 Domestic lead smelt

2017.09.07 16:47

Rising domestic lead scrap market has been led by domestic lead smelters’ initiative. Premium between prices for domestic market and export for Korea sometime has spread up to JPY10/kg or more. Domestic players dominate the market overwhelmingly. The premium has depressed availability of battery for export for Korea that partly resulted in decrease of export volume for the country. Thus the export performance dropped to 7,000s tones sharply down from previous around 10,000 tones.

 

 Export for Korea, at the same time, is also in more difficult condition because they conduct stricter inspection over radioactive pollution of scrap. Thus battery scrap previously allotted to export has returned to the domestic market substantially which means decrease of export has been caused by market condition not by the effect of Basel Act Revisions.

 

 Battery scrap shifted from export to domestic has flown into lead smelters or dismantlers (for taking out lead grid from battery) and it is said availability for grid lead producers has sharply increased. Price of grid lead is currently around JPY150/kg.

 

 In the spot market of battery scrap, order of material assembling capability may line in primary smelters, secondaries, and exporters. H company, Sendai, is most outstanding for its aggressive buying in. Some cargo batch has gone beyond JPY120/kg (automotive lead battery)  delivered to the plant, to which price no smelter can match. The only exception may be an exporter who employs trailers at Kitakyusyu (Fukuoka Pref.) on board of ferries for direct deliveries to Korean smelters. At the place the price FOB base is heard to be beyond JPY120/kg too.

 

 However, regular export price FOB base for Korea has been flat at around JPY110/kg for over the past one month. Consequently Premium of JPY10 between high end price for domestic smelters and export price for Korea has come out, which is a  current scenery.

 

 

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 Once-upon-a time scenery has come back where domestic secondary players find their enemies among primary counterparts(Toho Zinc, Mitsui, Mitsubishi(Hosokura)) not among exports for Korea. Raising buying prices could not provide them with scrap availability expected and they are asked for higher prices with difficult business conditions. At this picture, the primary players’ superiority to the secondary ones on the difference of business scale has come out apparently, which has been long pointed and the secondary smelters should be kept in serious competition for the availability of materials as long as such rising price market continues.

 

 On the contrary, some pointed that if there is price difference of as much as JPY10 between domestic market and export for Korea the primary smelters could easily procure the materials not bidding higher prices they have been afraid of.

 

 

 (IRUNIVERSE S. Aoyama)

 

 

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