Orzeł Biały operations are located in the heart of the Central European automotive industry. Within a few hundred kilometres from Piekary Śląskie dozens of car factories and hundreds of auto parts manufacturing plants including car batteries are located. The lead alloys produced at the Company are supplied, among others, to largest battery manufacturers. Primary smelters predominantly produce soft lead qualities 99.99 (Pb0) and 99.985 (Pb1) which are used to produce lead powders and lead oxide powders and, to a smaller extent, lead alloys.
Secondary lead manufacturers (including Orzeł Biały) produce mainly soft lead categories 99.97 (Pb2), calcium alloys and antimony alloys used mainly for the production of battery plates, terminals, connectors, and other battery components.
Due to the location of Poland in the centre of the Central European automotive industry and the proximity to many automobile companies and their suppliers including battery manufacturers, alloys produced in Poland are shipped to customers located throughout the region. Considering the fact that accumulators and batteries are consumable parts and must be replaced every few years, the demand for lead alloys is not completely dependent on the condition of the automotive industry and the demand for new cars.
Sales prices for lead alloys are based on lead quotations at the London Metal Exchange, which are subject to significant fluctuations impacted by, amongst other things, global demand and the situation on the financial markets. In accordance with the Company's adopted strategy and procedures LME, quotation risks are hedged against. The profitability of businesses in the industry is also largely defined by battery scrap prices. Due to grey market operators and illegal scrap exports, battery scrap prices in Poland are now high, thus affecting the profitability of recyclers. Exide Technologies of Poznań, Enersys Holding Europe in Bielsko Biała and Arras, France. The proximity of customers is, in addition to the wide range of high quality products, one of the biggest competitive advantages of Orzeł Biały. Currently, customers located outside of Poland receive approx. half of the production output of the Company.
Key markets are shown on the map below: