Aluminum Prices Are Leading The Way – 6/3/21


But First…Holy Steel!

Well, this is certainly a scrap dream that we seem to be in the middle of. Prices on all fronts have been increasing, and we have seen markets steadying over the last two months overall. Going into the summer, we are now watching the markets differently, as more and more states reopen at full capacity and things open up overseas, as well.

One of the things we are looking at is the supply chains for different metal refiners worldwide. In some countries like India, which are getting hit hard, we could see a minor crunch in the steel market for the next couple of months. We’re also watching the oil market, as we have seen prices rising weekly.

Quick Numbers featuring our Metal of the Month: Aluminum 

  • 113,000 cans – The aluminum industry pays more than $800 million for recycled material, and every minute an average of 113,000 aluminum cans are recycled.
  • 60 days – According to the Aluminum Association, an aluminum can takes as little as 60 days to return as a new can after recycling.
  • 75% – About 75% of all aluminum ever made is still in use, thanks to recycling, according to the Aluminum Association.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Not much to write about here other than every scrapper should have one of these in their yard… don’t keep the good stuff in it. 😅 



On another note, June is National Safety Month 👷 Here at the iScrap App, we always prioritize and advocate for safe scrapping, so take a moment or two this month to think about how your scrap: Are you as cautious as possible? Are you wearing proper scrapping gear? Are you prepared for worst-case scenarios? Please take a look at some of the blogs we have on safe scrapping and try to make it a priority in your life, as well. 👍

Suggested Reading: 6 Safety Items Needed For Scrapping

Suggested Reading: Scrap Metal Safety Tips


Featured Question:

Question: “Is this stuff worth anything?”

Tom: “CAT 5 = winner. We always recommend cutting it open to make sure that it is not CAT 5 cross with the plastic X inside.”

Suggested Read: Metal Monday: Copper Cable vs. Copper Wire

Non-Ferrous Market News

Aluminum Finds Its Groove 🕺

With aluminum leading the way in 2021, the white metal has continued to shine over the last few months. Markets are increasingly growing stronger as demand outweighs the supply for the consumer sector and many commercial sectors. Items like electronics and cars that use a lot of aluminum will start to have increased prices in the second half of this year due to the surging aluminum prices that we’ve seen.

Copper Stabilizes

While surging prices for consumer goods is never what you want, having an idea where the markets are going to go is certainly what you need. The copper market needs to stabilize like it has been doing, and we are continuing to see that exact pattern taking place.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/26 – 6/01):




Omaha, NE Aluminum Cans  $0.50 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.90 / lb
Gastonia, NC Sealed Units $0.17 / lb
San Marcos, TX #2 Copper Tubing  $3.52 / lb
Kansas City, MI Insulated Copper Wire $1.15 / lb
Harrisburg, PA Cast Aluminum $0.45 / lb
Fontana, CA Romex® ® Wire  $2.19 / lb
Jonesboro, AR Yellow Brass Solids $2.20 / lb
Augusta, GA #1 Copper $3.55 / lb 
Birmingham, AL 304 Stainless Steel $0.50 / lb
Cartersville, GA Aluminum Rims  $0.78 / lb
Billings, MT Aluminum Siding $0.40 / lb 

Ferrous Market News

A Lot of Upward Movements

Oil prices are surging. Gasoline prices are surging. Steel prices are surging. Which one of these do you want to talk about? Let’s go with the last one. With steel prices increasing across the country by about $40/ton since May 1st, we have seen the markets increasingly growing as overseas supply chain issues upset the overall flow. Surging steel prices are great for the scrap world and could last for the rest of the summer if we see economic trends continuing the way they have and are predicted to.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

With oil prices continuing to rise, not only are we going to see prices for heating oil and gasoline jumping at the same time, we could see more increased pricing for steel. Generally, when the price of oil climbs, we also see the price to move materials from trucking to rail car to overseas barge, all increasing simultaneously. These will be economic concerns on a macro level that will affect all consumer spending and overall growth.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/26 – 6/01):




Kingsford, MI Scrap Iron $180 / ton
Carbondale, IL Light Iron $0.08 / lb
Lisbon, NH #1 Steel $0.08 / lb
Greensburg, PA Sheet Metal  $11.00 / CWT 
Marion, IA Shreddable Steel $100 / ton 
Harrison, AR Complete Car $160 / ton
Bristol, CT Heavy Iron $0.07 / lb
London, KY Short Steel $145 / ton
Chickasha, OK Shreddable Steel $120 / ton
Kansas City, KS Water Heater  $120 / ton
Lewiston, ID Unprepared HMS $100 / ton

Other Metal Markets

The stainless steel and nickel market has been a little slower to increase this year than some of the other metals, but over the last few weeks, we have started to see more signs of life as the markets have been improving. Stainless steel prices have increased by about $0.02-0.03/lb. With these improving markets, that’s positive news, especially as the airline and aerospace industry returns to normalcy.

Catalytic Converter Market News



Rhodium prices have been a big curveball recently. We have watched the markets with cautious optimism. Items like catalytic converters have such incredible swings over the last 18 months that we were expecting some decline at some point; we don’t know when. With the changing markets and the worldwide economic situation still painting itself out, we do not see any large overall decreases for the rest of 2021.

The team at is looking at the markets closely and following what different refiners are saying. We have paid close attention to the fact that many refiners are starting to pay below-market rates because of the large uptick and the large risk they are taking. Overall, the markets have been solid, and we continue to see customers sending in cats and trusting the team at as we continue to grow and prove that consistency over time is a huge positive.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (5/26 – 6/01):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $474/@
GD3 $763/@
JSH62 $458/ @
12606389 $442 /@
25130440 $342/ @
Small Foreign $140/ @
Regular Domestic $221/ @


Thank You.

With the markets increasing positively on the steel side of things, we hope to see this trend continuing for the rest of the summer. We know that markets are volatile right now. Even as the prices are rising, we see this as instability because it goes against the normal trends. We will continue to watch and report to you as closely as possible.

– Tom

Related Articles:

*Canadian Dollar