What we have seen over the last couple of months in the copper world has been unexpected but in a good way. So many times we get let down with the steel prices dropping or aluminum continuing to be in the tank but we have seen copper continuing to shine; rising again week over week.
With manufacturers concerned about mining operations in multiple countries slowing down the output of copper or we have begun to see a copper crunch bringing the red metal to higher levels.
- $1,811 – Gold prices continue to within striking range of all-time highs.
- 18 months – Copper continues to surge to 18-month highs.
Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group
With baseball “spring” training up and running and with the season slated to start in the coming weeks we wanted to talk about another American pastime (we know that scrapping is up there too!). iScrapper Michael B. found these cards while scrapping and pointed out something…slowing down and going through things can make you more money. We could not agree more.
Copper Up $0.70 Since March!
With copper surging and leading the way, it has been up over $0.70 per pound since bottoming out back in March and April. We have seen the red metal show extreme strength over a time which has been very mixed. Many people talk about the economy recovering and a V-shaped curve kicking in, while we saw that on Wall Street with some of the stock prices, we have not seen it in the overall metals market.
Aluminum Isn’t Moving…
Aluminum has continued to struggle and we have seen prices for aluminum barely moving in any direction other than down for the last two years. Manufacturing has slowed and the once-popular white metal has not seen any type of price increases and that’s not only due to COVID-19 but also due to the tariffs that have been put into place for over two years.
On top of that, we have seen the high-temperature market for nickel and other alloys like monel continuing to falter as the aerospace and aviation industry are having a hard time kicking back into gear. Since there are so few people flying, the demand for new planes has gone down tremendously. All of these outside world events influence the markets and we have seen that with stainless prices being so low over the last year and a half, as well.
Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (7/8 – 7/14):
|Provo, UT||Insulated Aluminum Wire||$0.07 / lb|
|Rockaway, NJ||#1 Bare Bright Copper Wire||$2.55 / lb|
|Columbus, GA||Aluminum Copper Coil||$1.14 / lb|
|Crystal Springs, MS||ACR Ends||$0.70 / lb|
|Maple Grove, MN||Aluminum Cans||$0.30 / lb|
|Marion, IA||Yellow Brass||$0.95 / lb|
|Bluefield, WV||#2 Copper Tubing||$1.40 / lb|
|Rochester, NY||#1 Copper Tubing||$1.82 / lb|
|Asheboro, NC||Insulated Copper Wire||$0.20 / lb|
|Evansville, IN||304 Stainless Steel||$0.24 / lb|
|Deerfield Beach, FL||Lead Batteries||$0.22 / lb|
|Ottawa, Ontario*||# 1 Copper Tubing||$2.403 / lb|
Steel Is Down…But Ready To Jump?
Steel prices have dropped about $15 per ton this month and as oil prices could have a potential upswing after the OPEC meeting today, we are interested to see what happens in the iron market. Overall, the iron market is still about even for 2020 but with so many scrappers looking for those high prices on white iron and other white goods that they get day-to-day, we have been trying to find some shred of life in the iron and steel market.
Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?
The oil market is going to be very important on how the steel prices recover but as fewer and fewer people have been traveling this year, it might be a lost year for most of 2020 as we wait to see if the vaccine is developed and how quickly COVID-19 can get under control. We’ve also heard and talked to multiple people in different areas of the country that are not selling their iron, they are waiting for the markets to increase and there is the potential that hundreds of millions of tons of steel are being sat on as market prices are low and scrap yards are choosing not to sell.
Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (7/8 – 7/14):
|St. Mary’s, PA||#1 Steel||$45 /ton|
|Brighton, IL||Tin||$0.03 /lb|
|Greenbay, WI||#1 Prepared||$120 /ton|
|Bunnell, FL||Tin||$3.50 /CW|
|Everett, MA||#1 HMS||$140 /ton|
|Phoenix, AZ||Scrap Iron||$0.02 /lb|
|Port Huron, MI||Rotors||$0.08 /lb|
|Marshall, MN||Scrap Iron||$40 /ton|
|Elmsford, NY||#1 Prepared||$3.80 /CW|
|Charlotte, NC||Cast Iron||$3.50 /CW|
|Wichita, KS||Shreddable Steel||$60 /ton|
Other Metal Markets
Gold has continued to shine and has remained around or over $1,800 per ounce. So many investors are still cautious about the stock market recovery as they have continued to money to the gold markets. That has not correlated to the electronic scrap market increases many of those goods exported nearly as quickly as recyclers would like. With restrictions not only on travel but on certain exporting items from the United States. we have seen an overabundance of certain materials which has led to the slower pricing markets.
Catalytic Converter Market News
All three metals for catalytic converters have been down over the last week with rhodium leading the way with over a 5% drop. These prices are surprising as other markets like gold and silver have continued to shine, but this shows that the pressure on the auto industry to be able to recover in a better way and get cars pumped out quickly is going to be slowed down, not only to travel restrictions but also to oversupply in the markets right now.
Scrap catalytic converter Prices This Week (7/8 – 7/14):
Cat Type/Serial Number
|Small Foreign||$67/ @|
|Regular Domestic||$146/ @|
We hope that everyone has continued to find more material as we have seen the different connections that people are making through our social media pages, as well as emails that we get in talking about how people are getting aggressive and even though some of the iron prices are low they are going out there and finding more and more material and doing a harder hustle than they have before.
Any information that we can give to you that would help you learn about the markets in a different way, please let us know and will do our best to get that pushed out to you as quickly as possible. Stay safe and enjoy the summer.
- Do Stable Copper Prices Mean Increase Is Coming?
- Looking Inside a Catalytic Converter
- Now’s A Perfect Time to Relearn Scrap