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(AMM) Lead scrap spreads widen; weather hits battery supply

January 24, 2011 - 16:00 GMT Location: NEW YORK

KEYWORDS: lead , scrap , smelters

Primary lead price volatility has pushed consumers further away from the lead scrap market as smelters maintain wide spreads and refuse to let prices chase a primary market they see as devoid of fundamental realities.

Three-month lead prices closed the official ring on the London Metal Exchange at $2,395 per tonne ($1.0864 per pound) Monday, down 10.5 percent from the peak so far this month of $2,677 per tonne ($1.2143) on Jan. 17 but still slightly higher than the $2,393-per-tonne ($1.0854-per-pound) level seen on Dec. 9. LME inventories of the metal moved to 266,775 tonnes as of Monday, up 24.6 percent and nearly 30 percent in the same comparisons.

This volatility has forced a wider range of transactions on whole batteries.

Auto batteries continue to be the most...

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