FOCUS: Down-but-not-out lead's price ascent not just speculative

With automakers switching to producing vehicles with batteries reliant on metals such as cobalt and lithium, the expectation for lead has been that prices will follow the downward fortunes of the internal combustion engine.

But recently that has not been the case; lead's cash price on the London Metal Exchange reached a three-year high of $2,368 per tonne on Wednesday June 30, crowning nine straight days of gains.
Why the sudden drive higher? A clue might be found in forward price spreads where cash prices were driven into a $29 per tonne backwardation over the three-month futures contract on Tuesday, before swiftly relaxing to a current $3 per tonne contango.
"The price action over the past week makes us think we have witnessed some sort of bamboozle tied to end of quarter or month financials," Michael Cuoco, who heads up metals and bulks sales at StoneX Markets, said.
"It feels like the backwardation was encouraged rather than brought upon by true fundamental tightness."

A recent lack of interest in lead, which has been...

Published

Archie Hunter

July 02, 2021

15:10 GMT

London