4/18/18 Scrap Price Report: Is Copper Stable for 2018?

Hi Scrappers!

With so much continued optimism in the markets, we have seen another UP week in the scrap markets. We have seen a small up and down trend for copper, but overall it has been very positive since last week.

With so much optimism in the entire market from buying clothes to buy new cars, we’ve seen the entire US economy continue to grow going into the second quarter of 2018.

We have continued to see most market estimates and forecast for 2018 in most industries continue to grow and because of that, the optimism is there for the stock market and the scrap market as well.

Non-Ferrous Markets

Most market estimates indicate copper should stay at the level that it’s currently at or the higher for the rest of this year.

Copper has steadied itself over last week, and we hope to see this trend continuing. One positive sign that we have seen has started to be in the stabilization of the markets. With potential deals starting to get not only talked about but the logistics figured out for exporting it to China we could see the copper wire market have a rebound in the second half of this year.

The market for lower grade items like electric motors has been recovering with new outlets emerging for recycling. Lower value copper items that have been a problem for the last 6+ months seem to finally be getting sorted out and hopefully, will this solidify itself by the end of 2018. Copper wire scrap prices are trading around 20% lower from where they should be, because of this issue.

Reported Non-Ferrous Prices (4/11 – 4/17):

  • Welland, Ontario*:  400 Series Stainless Steel, $0.22/lb.
  • Rockaway, NJ:  #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire, $2.77/lb.
  • Breckenridge, MI:  Aluminum Siding, $0.54/lb.
  • Christiansburg, VA:  Copper Scrap, $2.00/lb.
  • South Gate, CA:  #2 copper tubing, $1.15/lb.
  • Albemarie, NC:  Sheet Aluminum, $0.45/lb.
  • Lewiston, ID:  Yellow Brass, $1.35/lb.
  • Saginaw, MI:  #2/3 Mixed Copper, $0.80/lb.
  • Valley Park, MO:  #1 copper tubing, $2.68/lb.
  • Cleveland, OH:  Electric Motors, $0.07/lb.
  • Tulsa, OK:  Cast Aluminum, $0.40/lb.
  • Kempner, TX:  Aluminum Copper Radiators, $1.10/lb.
  • Richmond, VA:  #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire, $2.40/lb.

Ferrous Scrap Markets

The steel market looked like it had the potential to drop last week, but we have seen prices stabilize and even rise the last few days. With steel prices still closing in on 3-year highs, we are happy to see the entire market stabilize over the last 6+ months.

While there have been a couple of ups and downs, overall pricing and market demand has been very strong even with all the news of the tariffs which happened over a month ago.

With the entire global demand for steel at record 4-year highs, we have seen prices not only increase but the inventory and supplies have continued to stay at level levels which are positive signs. If there was too much material flowing into the Mills and being exported overseas we may see is the increase in pricing.

Reported Ferrous Prices (4/11 – 4/17):

  • El Reno, OK:  Light Iron, $120.00/ton
  • Havelock, NC:  Shreddable Steel, $170.00/ton
  • Webb City, MO:  Light Iron, $80.00/ton
  • Wingdale, NY:  Shreddable Steel, $170.00/ton
  • West Terre Haute, IN:  Light Iron, $180.00/ton
  • Wonewoc, WI:  Shreddable Steel, $155.00/ton
  • Albemarie, NC:  Cast Iron, $0.05/lb.
  • Sterling Heights, MI:  Shreddable Steel, $0.075/lb.
  • Newark, NJ:  Light Iron, $1.00/lb.
  • Salt Lake City, UT:  #1 Prepared,0.00/ton
  • Petersburg, VA:  #2 Heavy Melting Steel, $7.00/cw
  • Sioux City, IA:  Shreddable Steel, $200.00/ton

Other Markets

With the tariffs news over the last few weeks, many people believed that the aluminum market would have a significant increase or significant decrease. We have seen neither with a relatively stable market but with some lower grade aluminum seeing a decrease in market demand.

Overall we have seen the prices for aluminum up about $0.02-0.03 per lb and that again…makes us smile.

Until next week…scrappppp ya later!

– Tom

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