Boosted Converter Prices, China Reopening – 6/1/22



Five months down into 2022, and overall, it’s been a pretty good market if you want to average things out. Yes, the first three months of the year were great, but we have seen a recent pullback, but overall we are in good shape.

In the coming weeks, we will be talking with an oil and gas economist who will be able to give us more insight into the industry and why some of the prices are at the levels that they are, how those prices are going to affect not only scrap prices but other oddities that will also contribute to scrap prices.
If there are any questions that you would like to ask about talking about oil and metals, we would love to basket so; please let us know.

Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters – SELL

With prices increasing over the last two weeks, we have seen the national average for catalytic converters climbing. We continue to watch these markets, and knowing that the team at will be able to hold your prices for ten business days should give you the confidence to get strong quotes. I have recently had an uptick with boosted prices.

Now we continue to lead ourselves into an electric run of the world; we continue to see the strong demand for precious metals, especially in many countries where these metals come from. I’ve been under considerable scrutiny and have had some problems extracting these precious metals.

Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – SELL

  • Aluminum –HOLD

  • Brass – SELL

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – SELL

Copper prices have been stable over the last couple of weeks. We cannot say the same for many other metals. We have seen significant decreases in markets like aluminum and stainless steel, with both of those respectively having large 20 to 30% drawdowns on pricing. You saw some of these prices come down quickly to the point where many scrap dealers were unaware of the market collapse so soon because they focused on copper and iron prices.
After talking with a couple of large scrap yard owners over the last few weeks admitted that the drop in the aluminum market we should be very stable for 6 to 8 months, was a little bit of a surprise. It does not come as a surprise that it happened largely that was due to the Covid lockdown in China as well as continuing supply chain disruptions to browse the world. We heard that there were hundreds of ships waiting to be unloaded in China which means all of those ships were not only waiting to be unloaded, but they were also waiting to be reloaded which is causing further supply chain disruptions.
Copper continues to be one of the key indicators of where the markets are going, we still think the market for copper is strong for the foreseeable future even after the large fluctuations that we have seen over the last eight weeks. Brass has also continued to be strong and we’re looking for some other stabilization in the aluminum and nickel markets to be able to gain a little traction. 

Non-Ferrous Price Chart of the Week- Copper


Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • #1 Steel – HOLD 

  • Shreddable Steel –SELL

  • Light Iron – SELL

  • Cast Iron – HOLD

  • Complete Car – HOLD 

With the obvious answer for steel prices declining being that gas and diesel prices are up ticking sometimes, it’s not as simple as you think. After talking to multiple scrap yard owners and feeling their pain at the pump as many of us are, we are looking at the market demand that seems to be fueling the price decreases much more than the oil or gas markets are. While oil and gas prices are important, the demand for steel moving forward has really been upset with many of the delayed materials coming from other areas throughout the world being slowed down. 
With inflation here at 88% 9% level, we are not surprised to see this pullback over the last ones in the steel markets as we expect these to continue for the balance of the summer leading into the fall. We may see prices at similar levels if not down another $20-$30 per ton.

Ferrous Price Chart of the Week


Other Metal Markets

Things that you are going to want to look out for in the coming weeks will be large changes in the battery markets as well as the aluminum markets. The lead market has really dried itself up when you compare it to 10 to 15 years ago when prices were higher back then than they are today where it should be in reversal.
It just shows you that the industry demand for lead and the recycling of lead-acid batteries has decreased. While millions of cars on the road continue to use lead-acid car batteries, the demand for these recycled metals has decreased leading to the lower prices that you see today. 
Any questions that you might want us to talk about and are upcoming podcast series spotlighting oil, gas, diesel, and other fuel sources and how they affect the scrap metal industry we would love to hear so we can ask them.

We have a couple of videos and podcasts that feature some interviews with family inside the Scrap business and with Scrappers. If you’re looking to be featured, interviewed, or even interview any of the people at iScrap, let us know so we can get it together.

– Tom


Other Valuable Resources 

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