Copper Heats Up, Steel Cools Down – 7/1/2020

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Half Way There!

Believe it or not, we are already halfway through 2020. It seems like this is a year that many people want to be able to get past for more reasons than we could list and more reasons than we can count. At the end of the day, we hope that everyone is enjoying some of these higher copper prices, as well as a relatively stable iron market. As we have watched the markets and the prices coming in online we have noticed more upward trending markets and increases from yards.

We are looking forward to having a couple of burgers and hotdogs this weekend to celebrate America’s birthday and hopefully pause for a minute to realize how lucky so many of us are to be able to have the ability to talk about Scrap and learn more from each other as so many people enjoy this industry and learning that comes from it.

Quick Numbers

  • Quarter – Copper had its best quarter in over 10 years.
  • ,800 – Gold hit ,800 an ounce briefly on Tuesday, June 30th.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

We love seeing questions asked about grades of scrap metal and we really love to see people asking advice from others. iScrapper Laurence C. posted about how much to dismantle a shed and getting advice from other scrappers on how much to charge and go from there. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Prices Are Highest of 2020

As we have seen pricing on copper increasing over the last couple of weeks it has been a little scary because we expected a large decrease coming afterward. The good news is going into July we have the highest prices of the year right now and we have seen the prices of copper increasing throughout not only the trading markets but also the reported prices and the scrap yards that are buying across the country and Canada. We have seen fair trade prices increasing, as well as insulated copper wire grades and that’s especially important as the insulated copper wire market was so heavily dependent on China for so many years.

Now that we have seen the tariffs in effect for the last two years we have seen multiple new markets emerging, as well as copper chopping lines here in the US that have had a large effect on the insulated copper wire markets.

No good news for aluminum or nickel…

While there has been a lot of positive and good news about the copper market and the related metals like Brass and insulated copper wire, we have not seen much good news coming out of the nickel market, or the aluminum market which has continued to get prices hammered down over the last few weeks months and years. Unfortunately, it does not look like this market has any large signs of recovery on the horizon and we might be seeing depressed prices for items like stainless steel, aluminum sheet, and all other grades of aluminum or nickel base alloys. One of the big problems with the nickel market is that the aviation and aerospace industry is in such turmoil because of the lack of flights and travel both domestically and internationally compared to five or six months ago.

Suggested Reading: 6 Places To Find Stainless Steel Scrap

With these markets being hit so hard, a lot of the metals that go into these industries and are almost exclusively used in them have been heavily impacted as many buyers either stopped purchasing or are processing and not paying customers as people are waiting for the markets to improve. On top of that, we have heard of multiple large suppliers of scrap holding on to very large amounts of material which will flood the market when a price increase does start to happen, and that will hurt some of the smaller buyers/sellers.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/24 – 6/30):




Lafayette, LA Brass $1.15 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.40 / lb
Columbus, GA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.12 / lb
Maricopa, AZ Aluminum Breakage $0.08 / lb
Hatboro, PA Sheet Aluminum $0.18 / lb
Ocala, FL Aluminum Cans $0.31 / lb
Newport, KY Insulated Copper Wire $0.65 / lb
Wheat Ridge, CO Low Grade Boards $0.05 / lb
New Haven, CT #1 Copper Tubing $2.00 / lb
Garland, TX THHN Wire $1.65 / lb
Forest Hills, MD Romex Wire $0.95 / lb
Cornwall, Ontario* #3 Roofing Copper $1.67 / lb

Ferrous Market News

A downward trend of steel & iron…

With the oil market getting hit over the last few weeks, we have continued to see the downward trend on steel and iron prices. Unfortunately, these markets have continued to weaken and we have seen a $10-$20 per ton drop across-the-board for all levels of ferrous materials. On top of this, we have heard of more large scale buyers holding onto a lot of their grades of material and that will affect the market when prices increase which is not expected to happen anytime for the rest of 2020.

We continue to recommend moving all of your material as quickly as possible, so you do not get stuck with any type of large amounts of light iron or heavy iron as the markets don’t look to be showing any signs of life going into the rest of the summer.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/24 – 6/30):




Lancaster, PA Shreddable Steel $0.03 /lb
Clarksville, IN Light Iron $70 /ton
Portland, OR Shreddable Steel $95 /ton
Alvin, TX Scrap Iron $0.04 /lb
Douglasville, GA Shreddable Steel $0.04 /lb
Hot Springs, AR Scrap Iron $70 /ton
Fenton, IL Shreddable Steel $0.025 /lb
Marshall, MN Shreddable Steel $30 /ton
Winchester, KY Shreddable Steel $90 /ton
Haddon Twp, NJ Light Iron $0.055 /lb.
Coshocton, OH Prepared HMS $145 /ton

Other Metal Markets

$1,800! We saw gold head over $1,800 an ounce which has not happened since 2012. With the all-time record price of gold hitting $1,917 per ounce back in 2011 we could be pushing those levels over the next few weeks as more consumers and investors continue to be scared about the market and possible increases or decreases over the upcoming months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Catalytic Converter Market News

As some of the markets have begun to show different signs of life we have seen more increases in the Catalytic Converter market as Palladium and Platinum have shown a little bit of demand over the last few weeks. We have started to see this market increasing and if you go to you’ll be able to learn more about the prices along with weekly updates and further information on your Catalytic Converter pricing.

With so many people out there saying that they are the best Catalytic Converter Buyer it’s always important to find someone that has a large number of reviews as well as an established record and gives you the ability to put more faith in them and their ability to purchase then the guy who drives to you in an unmarked van.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (6/24 – 6/30):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $268
GD3 $375
JSH62 $204
12606389 $229
25130440 $147

Thank You.

We would like to wish America a very happy birthday this weekend as she celebrates her 244th birthday. We hope that we can age that well over time with the amount of growth and prosperity that we have seen.

– Tom

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