Copper Is Still Being Affected By Trade Talks – 4/3/19

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We hope that many of you have had a very profitable week and have been able to get more scrap in the last few weeks with the weather turning than you had in weeks prior. We always love to hear stories about how you’re fine in your scrap, what you’re doing with it, what you’re saving and prices that you’re receiving. Don’t forget to post any of the prices that you are getting at your local yards to the iScrap App!

We’ve recently been starting to ask people different questions to gauge their reactions and opinions. We asked a couple of electricians if they thought that they deserved the scrap wire off of job sites and many of them said that they did but they understood that it was a bonus. Sometimes those on job sites don’t realize it’s a bonus and take it for granted. It’s important to realize and appreciate the value of the extra money. This is a good reminder to always communicate and work together with those on job sites, you want to make sure everyone is aware of what they are getting (or not getting) in the process.

In the last week, we have seen the steel prices dropping about $10/ton on average and we have not heard much good news going into the rest of April. But we have heard some positive economic news in the stock market in the jobs market we have not seen that translate over into the commodity side of things.

Quick Numbers

  • 25 Million – The number of families throughout the world that produce coffee. 
  • $25 per ton – The drop in steel over the last 3 weeks and it seems to be decreasing more.
  • A Lot – The amount of appreciation we have for the people who participate through our Scrap Metal Recycling Talk Facebook Page

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Be Safe. That is what we always talk about and this is a perfect example of one of your fellow iScrappers who wished that they had asked for help instead of doing it alone on a job. Look at this post and just think twice before over lifting and hurting yourself long term. Speedy recovery to you Steve.

Must-Read: 6 Safety Items Needed For Scrapping


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper prices are down $0.03-0.04 per pound over the last few days and we do not expect to see much of a change one way or the other for the rest of this month. It seems that the negotiations between the Chinese and the US are continuing to be very positive but are taking much longer than anticipated so we are in a waiting pattern right now.

Suggested Reading: What Are Metal Tariffs & How Do They Affect Scrap?

The aluminum market looked to have a small increase but we have not seen that really translate into a strong reported price increase overall throughout the US and Canada. One market that we have been watching and finally starting to see movement on is the non-magnetic stainless steel market with prices climbing an average of $0.03-$0.04 per pound of the last three days. We have continued to watch some of the specialty markets like aluminum and Nickel that used to be normal day-to-day market and have really taken a large impact due to tariffs restrictions and a change in the market. 

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/27 -4/02):




Indianapolis, IN Stainless Steel $0.30 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.57 / lb
Cleveland, OH Aluminum Cans $0.40 / lb
Oil City, LA #1 Copper Tubing $1.90 / lb
Great Bend, KS Aluminum Siding $0.30 / lb
Vancouver, British Columbia* Insulated Copper Wire $0.70 / lb
Greenbay, WI #2 Copper Tubing $2.28 / lb
Savannah, GA Yellow Brass $1.50 / lb
Chesapeake, VA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.11 / lb
Hernando, MS Bronze $1.40 / lb
Concord, NC Brass $1.30 / lb
Sterling Heights, MI #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.20 / lb

Ferrous Market News

With the market being on a bit of a downturn going to April, unfortunately, this is not an April fools joke. We have seen the market dropped about $10 per ton week over week with the expectation that mark will be dropping again next week or the week after at least $10 more per ton. 

While we have continued to watch the oil and gas prices rise over 30% in 2019 and the stock market climbing over 26,000 points, we have not heard many positive things going on in the industrial building sector and large commercial applications which will have a large impact on the steel prices. 

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/27 -4/02):




Akron, OH Unprepared Cast Iron $140 /ton
Milledgeville, GA Cast Iron $100 /ton
Fulton, NY Light Iron $100 /ton
Greenbay, WI Sheet Iron $135 /ton
Chesapeake, VA Light Iron $115 /ton
Delaware, OH Unprepared Cast Iron $120 /ton
Eldon, MO Cast Iron $100 /ton
Portland, OR #1 Steel $0.057 /lb
Triadelphia, WV Automobiles $140 /ton
Lawton, OK Light Iron $100 /ton
Albuquerque, NM #1 Heavy Melting Steel $105 /ton

Other Markets

The catalytic converter market that is heavily discussed both in our Facebook scrap recycling group as well as emails and messages that we get through our other social platforms. One metal that we have been watching is the palladium market which has dropped about 7.5% over the last 30 days and has had a large impact on the catalytic converter market.

Over the last 30 days, we have seen platinum remain relatively steady while the year is slightly up. But if you compare this to the 12 months overall we have seen the platinum market drop almost 9% overall. If you want to go back further than that over the last five years we’ve seen the market drop over 40%. All of these are factors in determining how the catalytic converter market is priced and it’s very interesting to see and follow.

Suggested Reading: How Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices Are Determined

Thank You.

We always look forward to hearing your comments, ideas, thoughts and other knowledge about anything related to scrap. We hope that you have a good week and we look forward to hearing from you over the next seven days.

– Tom

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