Copper Gets It’s Groove Back – 2/2/22


Happy February! 

With the month of love quickly upon us, we have certainly been loving the increase in copper prices the last few days. We know that we probably sound like we’re repeating ourselves, but with these markets in the positions and price ranges that they are at, there’s no reason to hold onto any copper or brass material. If you like gambling and think the markets will go up more, we would love to hear your story and your market predictions.

Everyone seems to be talking about Russia lately, and there will be an impact on scrap prices if there are any escalations. We expect to see prices on oil and gas products increasing, which will lead to further increased costs to move materials, and we could see a bit of a pullback for the larger and heavier grades of material. In the same breath, there’s a real possibility that we could see an increasing demand for iron prices in the second half of this year.

Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – SELL

  • Aluminum – SELL

  • Brass – SELL

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – SELL

With copper prices having large drops last week to coincide with the stock market, we were not unhappy with the decreased pricing. That only lasted for a short while, and kind of like the groundhog coming to look for his shadow, we were able to see a little bit of springtime pricing in the last couple of days, with markets increasing about $0.17. That market increase erased the drops that we saw last week and shows that scrapyards will be very hesitant to have aggressive prices with such hefty price swings.

One item that has become increasingly hard to move has been sealed units. While many are continuing to buy these- the shipping container rates going up will hurt these lower-grade scrap values. This just further illuminates the need for more of the metal to stay domestic in the United States and not get shipped overseas to save on prices long-term eventually. 

Non-Ferrous Price Chart of the Week


Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • #1 Steel – HOLD

  • Shreddable Steel – SELL

  • Light Iron – SELL

  • Cast Iron – HOLD

  • Complete Car – SELL

As we mentioned earlier, with oil prices continuing to climb, we will not be surprised to start to see steel prices dipping down if we approach $100 per barrel for oil. This will cause a ripple effect across the fuel markets and make everything more expensive to move than it already is. The solution to this may not be seen inside the next three years as the current administration is so focused on eliminating fossil fuels that they could continue to ignore some of the high prices that we will see for the seeable future.

The significant increase that we saw last year for steel prices has been one to remember as we do not see any price increases coming on the iron side of things anytime soon.

Ferrous Price Chart of the Week

Other Metal Markets

With nickel and stainless prices continuing their torrent growth, we are happy to see these prices increasing for the first time in a long time. These markets continue to push forward as the Nickel market shows some of its strongest prices in recent years.

However, the battery market has continued to have many tough times, and we do not see lead-acid battery prices ever recovering the levels that we saw a few years ago where some people were being paid $.45 per pound for lead-acid scrap batteries. These prices seem to be a thing of the past, and the new markets are here to stay.

Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters – HOLD or SELL

After talking to one analyst earlier this week, they think that the markets are poised for a jump to come in the second half of this year. With production problems still looming, there have not been as many cars moving out of new dealer manufacturers, which means not as many precious metals have been consumed. With Playdium and rhodium having their primary uses in the catalytic converter world, we could see these markets increasing as supply chain issues, and chip shortages eventually go away. 

In the meantime, with prices at historic levels, if you took out a short four-month period in 2021. There are no reasons to hold onto the cats, but you should try to take advantage of the free shipping offered for February through

Thanks for reaching out and tuning into this week’s report. We look forward to next week!

– Tom


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