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A little tidbit from Kitco Metals.

The first phase of Yunnan's plan, announced in early December, will include 180,000 tonnes of aluminium, 30,000 tonnes of tin, 236,000 tonnes of zinc, 104,000 tonnes of lead and 2,000 tonnes of copper, the official Xinhua said late Tuesday.


Buz
 

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Well we had a corporate meeting about lead prices today (we manufacture batteries) and lead is cheaper now then it has been since 2004. It has been as low as 38 cents in the last week and holding around 40 cents on average. We are expecting it to continue to fall for a large part of 2009 however we are expecting it to rise even higher come 2010 do to inflation. So the moral is ride the wave and hold out as long as you can and then buy a few years worth at one time so you are stocked up.

Dave
 

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ukwildcat - The shot manufacturers buy their lead from the same places China buys lead. It is a simple supply and demand situation.

Dave- You have a very difficult job. If you guess right, others will view you as an over paid executive. If you guess wrong, then you are viewed by others and an over paid incompetent manager. You consider all available current information and do the best you can. Good luck.

Pat Ireland
 

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Pat, I am just a salesman for the company. But you are right about making the right guess. Lucky we are one of the worlds largest consumers of lead so we purchase about 5-6 months out so we can cushion ourselves to some degree and we also own our own smelter so we are able to keep our cost down by reusing lead we get for free in a lot of cases. We have full time commodity buyers and I would hate to have their job.

A fun fact is for every 1 penny that lead goes up it cost us $65 million. For every penny copper goes up it cost us $25 thousand. This does not even factor in fuel, natural gas, electricity, plastics, acid etc all of which has gone up in the last 5 years.

We are in for some fun times!

Dave
 

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6,500,000,000 # x 1¢ = $65 million dollars. Dave, that's alot of lead!
 

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Yes the difference is in the volume consumed. I believe the 2007 statistic for stranded wire for our factory was something like enough feet to go around the earth 127 times. You have to see it to believe it! We manufacture automotive and GEL/AGM batteries, wire, battery terminals, valves, jumper cables etc. We have 2.6 million square feet of manufacturing and manufacture over 28 million batteries per year and growing. We are the largest single site battery manufacture in the world. Proudly made in PA. 100% of our products are US made. We are also the largest employer in the state of PA now. I am based in Northern IL and just one of many remote employees. We have operations in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and now Australia. Its an awesome company to work for. Forbes rates us in the top 100 companies to work for and I believe we where 78 on the list. Our company is very pro worker, non union and frankly there is no need for a union. Our factory workers typically make more money then most field employees. To give you and example we have an amazing health program, dental, drug, vision and life insurance and it only cost me $5 per week! You can not ask for a multi billion dollar company to treat its employees better.

Oh and by the way we are also the only battery company in our class that is making a profit and always has. So much for the send it to China so we can make profit crap! We build it in the USA, with US labor and US quality and dominate the industry. Our business model is one that many companies should have taken rather then running to cheap Asian labor with crappy quality.

Dave
 

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K80Dude, it's great to hear about a successful American company and an employee who is proud to work for them. That 104,000 tons for China looks kind of insignificant against what your one company consumes. JRM
 

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Does that mean shot is supposed to sell for 13.00$ of 25 pounds now or are the shooters still supposed to get gouged. Bill12
 

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Well Pat that “simple supply and demand market” you make reference to has not been so simple since 1970. Speculators and futures markets along with several other changes in the global economic world have made statements like “simple supply and demand market” go the way of the dodo bird.
 

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In Italy many of the trap ranges have a lead shot recover system in place. They recover about 96% of the lead that is shot on the range. It is reused and saves a lot of money for the shooters and range owners.

They also have covered firing points which protects you from the elements. Maybe someday we will get things figured out. HMB
 

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Dave:
Does your company buy reclaimed shot (truckload quantities)? Please advise via e-mail. Drop the XX's.
Thank you,

Dick
 

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I sent you an email about buying lead. I am sure the factory would. I was at the factory this summer and they had actually purchased crystal vases to recycle. A company went out of business and they bought thousands of them. Shot would be a lot easier to smelt then batteries or crystal. Hope it works out! There is a good chance we have a distribution center close to you who could pick it up for you or take delivery of it.

Dave
 

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ukwildcat - The futures market is based entirely on supply and demand. Oil and metal speculators made a lot of money one year ago and they lost a lot of money 4 months ago.

b12 - You left out a lot of things in your estimate of how much shot should sell for at the retail level. Do you know what % of the total cost of the shot is the raw materials. How would you advise a distributor who has a current inventory of 10,000 bags of shot he paid $40 for and he now knows he could now replace that inventory for $20 a bag?

Dave- With your experience with batteries, could you suggest something I could do with my flashlights other than use them as a convenient place to store dead batteries?

Pat Ireland
 

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The price of lead is on the way up again. $.47 a pound this morning. Up from $.37 a pound a couple weeks ago. HMB
 

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Pat,
Well if they are Alkaline batteries you can just through them in the trash. There is not anything hazardous and no one really can recycle them. That is an advantage to rechargable flashlights, just keep them plugged in until you need them. In AA and AAA they have lithium batteries which will last for 10 years. I try to buy flashlights that use AA or 123a batteries just for this purpose.

Sorry there isn't a better answer for you.
 

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Pat
The futures market is not based on supply and demand. You said the magic word in your post, speculation. Speculation is simply guessing about the future price of the underlying commodity. Futures markets were originally set up so that the owners and users of the underlying commodity could hedge against large price swings. The problem today in the commodity markets is that there are more contracts being traded than there is the actual physical commodity.

David Knapp
 
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