5/16/18 Scrap Price Report: Copper Exports At Stalemate & What It Means

Howdy Scrappers!

Well…the good news? Not much has changed since last week, but the bad news? Last week did not have many upsides so we are left waiting for a few things to really take shape. With the scrap prices all over the place and so many questions still unanswered let’s begin with what is always one of the most popular things…copper.

Non-Ferrous Metal Markets

Copper has been relatively calm on the trading side of things, but the selling side has been very difficult. With the CCIC (China Certification and Inspection Company) in the middle of a 30-day hold on imports, we have seen a very large stalemate in copper exports. The wire market has been one of the most talked about with prices and the ability to ship material being very difficult right now. We have heard of some scrap yards across the US slashing their prices 15% or more on different copper wire prices because it has become so difficult to move the material right now.

Another piece of news has been related to the same news story, the Chinese import markets, and this has affected even the raw metals like coppers and brass. We have seen brass prices drop about 4% in the last two weeks even though the copper prices have not fallen that much…it just shows that the export market has significantly weakened and it may be shaky times for a few weeks or even months.

Reported Non-Ferrous Prices (5/9 – 5/15):

  • Kapolei, HI:  Aluminum Rims, $0.27/lb.
  • Rockaway, NJ:  #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire, $2.70/lb.
  • Morgan City, LA:  Sealed Units, $0.13/lb.
  • Harrisonburg, VA:  #1 copper tubing, $2.65/lb.
  • Lakewood, CA:  Lead Batteries, $0.21/lb.
  • Birmingham, AL:  #1 copper tubing, $2.20/lb.
  • Columbus, GA:  Clean ACR, $1.22/lb.
  • Crossville, TN:  #3 Aluminum, $0.38/lb.
  • Wheeling, WV:  Insulated Copper Wire, $0.65/lb.
  • Maple Grove, MN:  THHN Wire, $1.49/lb.
  • Durango, CO:  Stainless Steel, $0.30/lb.
  • Flint, MI:  Aluminum Siding, $0.45/lb.

Ferrous Metal Market Report

With Light Iron continuing the downward trend we have seen the markets really get scared the last 2-3 weeks. We have talked to a lot of people who monitor scrap steel and iron markets and they continue to say that the news in China, as well as a few other contributing factors like the oil prices, are really affecting this market.

Steel prices for export markets like Turkey and other parts of the Middle East have also been tempered and we have seen a decreased demand this month. One positive thing that we have continued to see is that the steel demand for new products both domestically and globally continue to trend upwards and we hope to see these positive news trends continue.

Reported Ferrous Prices (5/9 – 5/15):

  • Aberdeen, NC:  Shreddable Steel, $80.00/ton
  • Des Plaines, IL:  Light Iron, $120.00/ton
  • Gray, GA:  Shreddable Steel, $120.00/ton
  • Tampa, FL:  Light Iron, $160.00/ton
  • Stittsville, Ontario*:  Shreddable Steel, $140.00/ton
  • San Jose, CA:  Light Iron, $0.05/lb.
  • Indianapolis, IN:  Scrap Iron, $0.10/lb.
  • Sheridan, CO:  Shreddable Steel, $80.00/ton
  • Louisville, KY:  Sheet Iron, $158.00/ton
  • Haleyville, AL:  Light Iron, $110.00/ton
  • Green Bay, WI:  Shreddable Steel, $165.00/ton

Other Markets

One thing that we do not talk too much about is cardboard, but we know that many people still actively are scrapping and selling it across the US…but with the Chinese putting their ban not only on scrap but putting extreme requirements on the importing of cardboard. Many companies were selling cardboard for upwards of $150 per ton, even as recent as the Summer of 2017 and that was netting many local governments across the US a positive cash flow from their local recycling efforts.

What we have seen now is a reversal and many recycling companies are going to be charging local governments to take cardboard with the export markets not taking it in right now.

Let us know your thoughts on the markets and what questions we can help you get the answers to.

Scrap ya later!


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