Aluminum Proving To Be Resilient – 6/23/21


We’re All In This Together 🤝

So…. What’s Going On?

It’s been super hard to figure out what’s going on with these markets lately. We had a tremendous upside for a few months with copper, non-ferrous, and iron prices, only to be followed by a nice steady period and then a swift kick in the butt. These markets are going to become extremely frustrating, and we’re in it with you.

Last week’s news (no shocker) is that China would release thousands of tons of reserve copper into the market mainly because they don’t like how the prices are going. This certainly would prove to be upsetting, and unfortunately, we were correct. We said for months that there would be industry and pricing interruptions, and these are just some of the ones that we will continue to experience moving forward.

Quick Numbers

  • 1,567 megawatts – Hoover Dam’s current generation capacity, down 25% from its peak of 2,074 megawatts. The dam is one of the nation’s largest hydroelectric facilities, with its output serving Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California
  • 375% increase – The EV Metal Index, which tracks the value of battery metals in newly registered passenger EVs (including hybrids) worldwide, came in at $405 million in April, an increase of 374.8% over the same month last year.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Attention Indiana Scrappers 🚨 Starting July 1st, auto salvage recyclers will now be required to collect and keep a certificate of authority when purchasing a vehicle without a title and must be retained for five years after. This also seems to be required in several other states. Make sure to keep up with your state’s scrap laws so you can keep on scrapping.

Suggested Reading: the US Scrap Metal Laws By State

Our latest Scrap Metal Recycling Talk poll asked how scrappers store their scrap before selling it. We’ve come across multiple posts of scrappers saying they don’t have the room to store all their scrap or get calls from the town because of complaining neighbors. If you have the same issue, take a look at the post, get some ideas for yourself, or give your own tips!


Non-Ferrous Market News

Count Your Blessings 🙏

Well, price drops suck, and we can’t complain too much considering the market is still up over 30% this year. The price is already rebounding this week, as we have seen the market rise about $0.08-0.09 in the last couple of days. We don’t expect to see a full recovery, however. With back-to-back weeks rarely seeing $0.50 price differences, we are happy that the markets have already improved after last week’s price drop. We have seen about $0.20 added back into the market.

In Other News, Aluminum Prices Are Strong

Are you looking for good news? We’ll give you some. Aluminum prices have shown to be very resilient, if not stronger than copper, in 2021. Well, you might be looking for that extra score with the pricing on copper and brass to be significantly higher than aluminum. We have seen the demand for aluminum continues to increase, which has pushed prices very high and, more importantly, strong levels. So while you might want to complain, take a breath and realize that markets are still in a solid place.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/16 – 6/22):




Greensburg, PA Yellow Brass $1.85 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.70 / lb
Houston, TX Old Sheet Aluminum $0.50 / lb 
Elk River, MN #2 Copper Tubing  $2.91 / lb
Rancho Cordova, CA Aluminum Copper Radiators  $1.51 / lb
Minden, LA Aluminum Cans  $0.50 / lb
Lisbon, NH Romex® Wire  $1.50 / lb 
Canton, IL #1 Copper Tubing  $3.50 / lb 
Columbia, SC 304 Stainless Steel $0.42 / lb 
Durham, NC Electric Motors (Copper) $0.26 / lb
Birmingham, AL Clean Lead $0.30 / lb
Shreveport, LA Red Brass $2.94 / lb 

Ferrous Market News

Steel Prices That Make Us 😁

The tale of two different types of prices has continued to rear its ugly head. We heard announcements about two weeks ago that we could be expecting steel prices to increase another $30-$40 per ton in July. Only to have that reversed in the last few days with different economic factors, like the price of oil and too many Covid problems in other countries, upsetting the market.

Sometimes we find ourselves going back to normal and not realizing how the rest of the world is still being impacted; this will continue to offset supply chains and give prices very different directions than they normally would. It will also lead to continued price fluctuations, and unfortunately, we will see a little more uncertainty in the market.

The good news? The markets are almost doubled this year for steel, and we see some crazy high prices that should make you smile.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/16 – 6/22):




Bowling Green, KY  Sheet Iron/Shreddable  $210 / NT
Pittsburgh, PA Tin $12 / CW
Marietta, GA Shred $0.09 / lb
Merrillville, IN Shred $232 / NT
Waukesha, WI Sheet Iron $250 / ton
Alton, IL #1 Prepared  $295 / ton
Manassas, VA Light Iron $0.07 / lb
Salina, KS Shreddable Steel $140 / ton
Apopka, FL Cast Iron $11.50 / CWT
Springfield, MO #2 Prepared $300 / NT
Quebec, Canada* #2 HMS $150 / ton

Other Metal Markets

In other market news, we have seen high temperatures from nickel and inconel, both having a resurgence. However, one issue that we see right now is that while consumers are looking to fly and travel again, the business world has not taken that nearly as fast. Why does this matter to you? The more business travelers out there means more places, which means more usage, which means increasing demand in the overall commercial aviation and metals industry.

Sometimes it takes a little while to start figuring out these things and how they work together. Still, once you start paying attention to some of the news cycles and how metal affects so many different walks of life, modes of transportation, and news stories affecting metal prices, you realize how all these things work together for better or worse.

Catalytic Converter Market News



In an ongoing series on our podcast Scrap You Later, we talk about the electric vehicle market more and more. Coming out soon, we highlighted rhodium and how this dull and expensive metal could become a problem for the next 15 years. Rhodium is associated with the auto industry almost exclusively, where 80% of the world’s rhodium is used in catalytic converters. With a further push to electric vehicles, we could see the demand for rhodium taking down in the next five years. 

We’re watching these overall catalytic converter markets and different prices, and what you’re seeing is how auto manufacturers are in a crunch right now to get their supply chains back up and running. They are also trying to figure out their level of demand to cover the converter’s and precious metals that go inside. With 30-40% of platinum and palladium used in the catalytic converter markets, you could probably see why they are frustrated.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (6/16 – 6/22):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $476 / @
GD3 $767 / @
JSH62 $460 / @
12606389 $444 / @
25130440 $343 / @
Small Foreign $140 / @
Regular Domestic $225 / @


Thank You.

We’d love to hear your thoughts as well as other things you would like us to talk about, whether it’s in our weekly report or our podcast. Let us know so we can get that news to you. Until next week, we will scrap you later.

– Tom

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*Canadian Dollar