Copper Dips, Steel Slips – 1/22/20

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Good Day Scrappers!

We hope that everyone has been enjoying the first month of the year along with some of the steady overall prices we have seen. While this report will talk about some of the price decreases that have occurred in the last few days, nothing has been too serious going forward. After having the phase 1 deal signed, as well as the USMCA put together and signed we have seen positive signs of an economic turnaround in a commodities market.

One of the most positive things that we have seen is record prices for rhodium and recent highs for palladium with the markets continuing to excel and have an increase in the catalytic converter markets. 

While we have seen a couple of short term signs of declines due to virus outbreaks in China and a few oversupply numbers, we are still happy with the results for the first few weeks of the year.

Quick Numbers

  • $9,500 – Cost of one ounce of Rhodium. Nearing 2008 record highs.
  • $0.07 per lb – Copper slipped Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • 2 – Phase 2 negotiations are now underway. 

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

This week we saw a cool find for all of you that may look for special payouts or collect coins. iScrapper Rick Y. found this quarter at the scrap yard and with a quick Google search, we saw it could be worth as much as $200 or as little as $7…regardless we thought it was worth sharing.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Drops A Bit

Copper has dipped down about $0.06-0.07 in the last few days as the market has shown small signs of weakness based on some of the virus outbreaks in China. Almost as soon as this new strain of the virus was announced we saw the market drop on Tuesday going into Wednesday and we have not seen a rebound yet, at the time of writing this report. We saw a small decline in the stock market but we’re really staying focused on some of the major commodities like copper, nickel, and aluminum.

Other markets like Brass and insulated wire have suffered due to the decrease in the copper prices and we saw immediate reactions as soon as the market dropped down on Tuesday. We’re hoping that this is a temporary thing as the virus gets contained and more economic reports come out in a positive manner. We watch things around the country such as unemployment numbers, gas prices, and how the stock market reacts as well as multiple other factors to see where the markets are and where they’re going to be going moving forward.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/15 – 1/21):




Charlton, MA Steel BX $0.12 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.45 / lb
Madison, WI Aluminum Cans $0.35 / lb
Philadelphia, PA Aluminum Siding $0.17 / lb
Chatsworth, CA Brass Scrap $1.25 / lb
Marlborough, NH THHN Wire $0.93 / lb
Minneapolis, MN CATV Wire $0.76 / lb
Lawrenceville, GA Insulated Copper Wire $0.51 / lb
Gonzales, LA #1 Copper Tubing $1.95 / lb
Seattle, WA #2 Copper Tubing $1.80 / lb
Holly Hill, FL Aluminum Copper Radiators $0.75 / lb
Chicago, IL Sheet Aluminum $0.20 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Steel Slips

We have seen the iron market slip about $10 per ton this week with many companies making some of the price changes retroactive for larger industrial accounts going to the beginning of the month with price clients. We also see more price declines coming the beginning of February, if not later in January of another $10 per ton getting taken off the board.

With a lot of positive news spinning around the United States, we’re hoping to see some of these markets pick up going into the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter. While some people might want an immediate increase right here and right now, sometimes the slow build is more important than the rapid build.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/15 – 1/21):




Lafayette, LA Light Iron $86 /ton
Aiken, SC Cast Iron $70 /ton
Lorain, OH #1 Steel $110 /ton
Alamo, TX Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Penn, NY Light Iron $130 /ton
West Palm Beach, FL Cast Iron $40 /ton
Norcross, GA #1 Steel $80 /ton
Sparta, IL #2 Prepared $140 /ton
Cameron, MO Car w/Tires $110 /ton
Tulare, CA #1 Steel $60 /ton

Other Markets

With rhodium prices topping off in year record highs and quadrupling in overall value in the last year it’s almost been eye-popping to watch these changes happen in real life. Imagine paying four times more for gas or food except in this case people are getting to pay more for Catalytic Converter‘s and people are making more money. On the reverse side, you’ll start to see Emission standards increasing over time for new cars meaning some of the prices on the new cars will go up as companies have to raise them to counterbalance rhodium, platinum and Palladium prices going into the catalytic converter‘s that in the future could be worth more than ever before.

Thank You.

Many of the things that we talk about week to week seem to be recycled topics it’s important to know that staying in tune with some of these are more important than learning about markets that might not affect you. Every once in a while we do our best to share information that would be new and could possibly affect you but we’re trying to focus on things that are affecting the day to day, in the month to month while looking at bigger perspectives to learn about the overall economic impact. Please share your stories with us and let us know prices that you’ve been receiving at your local yards.

– Tom

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