Ammunition sales bolster US lead scrap prices

A spike in ammunition sales amid concerns over civil unrest in the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd has boosted lead scrap prices, with increased demand for firearms putting domestic supplies under pressure.

A lead and zinc scrap dealer told Fastmarkets that physical demand for lead scrap was being underpinned by robust buying activity from ammunition manufactures amid a rise in gun sales. Bullets contain lead in the nose on top of the brass shell casings, Fastmarkets understands.
Gun sales in the United States soared to about 2 million units in July, up by 134.6% from July 2019, according to an August 1 report from research consultancy Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting. The report also pointed to a “massive demand [spike]… from March 2020 during the Covid-19 crisis,” noting that sales in January-July were nearly equal to the full-year 2019 total.

“There’s been a big pickup in first-time gun buyers... and this has created a lot of demand for ammo,” the lead and zinc scrap dealer said, pointing to civil unrest in cities such as...

Published

Sean Barry

August 12, 2020

22:15 GMT

New York