6/20/18 Scrap Price Report: Copper Drops 8% In A Week

Good Day Scrappers! 

Hopefully, you saw some news about the tariffs in the last week and maybe said to yourself, hmmm how will that affect metal prices? The answer…it was a tough week to be holding copper if you were waiting for another $0.05 – 0.10/lb jump. 

With copper getting pounded by $0.26 in the last 8 trading days we have seen scrap yards have massive pullbacks in pricing and Scrappers have felt that scrap pricing pain.

Non-Ferrous Markets

With copper falling about 8% once tariffs and more trading restrictions began we have seen our reported prices drastically falling for our beloved red metal. With tougher trade restrictions going into effect we have seen many negative news reports that the tariff discussion is far from being resolved. 

Talking to sources across the US we have seen many West Coast yards finding new outlets for insulated wire and lower grade copper items going to different parts of Asia, while more aluminum and raw copper has been staying within the US for refinement. Plants have increased capacity and we have seen more companies keeping metal inside the US then we have seen in years. 

While this will create more domestic jobs it still has a very high likelihood of affecting metal prices for the foreseeable future. Don’t forget that the Chinese are still the worlds largest consumer of copper and all of these trade talks are a very scary thing.

With other metals like Lead, aluminum, and zinc also showing weakness with the concerns in China we may see a very inconsistent summer market, if not further into the rest of the year. 

Reported Non-Ferrous Prices (6/13 – 6/19):




Langley, British Columbia* Brass $1.00/lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.82/lb
Chouteau, OK #1 copper tubing $2.00/lb
Spokane, WA Brass $1.46/lb
Gonzales, LA Lead Batteries $0.10/lb
Surrey, British Columbia* #2 copper tubing $2.90/lb
North Hollywood, CA Sheet Aluminum $0.47/lb
Temple, PA Dirty Brass $0.80/lb
Staunton, VA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.75/lb
Marshalltown, IA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.10/lb
Akron, OH aluminum siding $0.40/lb
St. Paul, MN Copper Scrap $1.00/lb
Woodinville, WA Copper Transformers $0.16/lb
Wilmington, DE #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.80/lb

Ferrous Markets

Heavier grades of steel continued to slip with a $7 per ton decrease in the markets overall. We have seen more material flowing into yards despite the falling markets and scrap yards seem to be as busy as they have been in years with steel…but are still very pessimistic in predicting the prices. 

With the price of oil declining the last month the cost of transportation and drilling has decreased and that has had a direct effect on the steel pricing markets. Don’t be too taken back, many experts are predicting that this market will continue to maintain a very stable and strong level, especially compared to the last 3-4 years of trading.

Reported Ferrous Prices (6/13 – 6/19):




San Antonio, TX Light Iron $120/ton
Gaylord, MI #1 Heavy Melting Steel $175/ton
Rock Hill, SC Shreddable Steel $135/ton
Hurst, IL Light Iron $155/ton
Ball Ground, GA Shreddable Steel $150/ton
Williston, VT Light Iron $100/ton
Morrisville, NY Shreddable Steel $60/ton
North Hollywood, CA #1 Steel $210/ton
Marshalltown, IA Unprepared HMS $165/ton
West Monroe, LA Shreddable Steel $120/ton
Stamford, CT Light Iron $80/ton

Other Markets

As briefly mentioned above the prices of oil has pulled back in recent weeks and has given relief to drivers at the pump yet has had an impact on metals prices at the same time. While cheaper fuel is great for the wallet, often the higher oil prices will lead to higher metal prices and often that metal price will help make up or exceed the extra fuel money. 

Let us know how metals prices have affected you by emailing us at [email protected] or comment below. 

Happy Trails Scrappers!

Related Articles: