Countdown To Trade Talks & What It Means for Scrap – 2/21/19


We hope that everyone is doing well, and we have to say that we love the stories and the pictures that are getting shared on our Scrap Metal Recycling Talk Facebook group. If you had not had time to join it yet, we advise that you click on this link and ask for permission. We have seen thousands of scrappers talking about different ways to make money and how they clean and look for different types of scrap. 

 With the market being in a positive position, we have been watching the news and we know that March 1 is less than 10 days away. What does that mean for those of you tuning in for the first time? That’s when the trade agreement is supposed to be in place between the Chinese in the US to avoid further tariffs. We have been anxiously watching, waiting, and trying to read as much as we can to get any idea of where the trade talks are. Right now it seems to be moving positively and if you hear about a possible meeting between President Xi and President Trump that would be a very good sign. 

Quick Numbers

  • 8 Days – Until the deadline for additional tariffs is supposed to be implemented.
  • 60 Days – The amount that President Trump said that an extension on additional tariffs could be given due to positive trade talks.
  • 55 Miles – Of steel fencing (who wants to guess how much it weighs).
  • 3 Months – Oil prices at the highest rate in over three months regardless of continuing US Exports.
  • $0.04 – Amount per pound we have seen copper prices rises week over week.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Every week we see dozens of comments and thousands of posts going back-and-forth between scrappers inside of our Facebook group, but this one was a short, simple, and sweet one. We saw ranges from 50+ years to one month, and it was really interesting to see some of the comments that people have written down on why they started scrapping in how they started scrapping. Do yourself a favor and take a couple minutes to click on this link and see some of the notes.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Aluminum prices have continued to be affected in a negative light with marked down another one to three cents per pound over the last week. We are optimistic that a trade agreement will be put into place between the US and the Chinese, but until we hear something and see it in writing and actually get it signed we are all sitting on pins and needle’s anxiously waiting.

Copper has continued its strong climb and we have seen the market jump over the last week again. With some of the reported prices jump in anywhere from $0.03-$0.10 per pound on certain metals in the copper and brass family we are anxiously awaiting positive news from the tariff talks.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (2/13 – 2/19):




Clarksburg, WV AL Extrusion $0.25 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.55 / lb
Lebanon, TN #2 Copper Tubing $2.00 / lb
Warsaw, IN #2/3 Mix Copper $1.75 / lb
Brodnax, VA #1 Copper Tubing $2.00 / lb
Oakland, CA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.25 / lb
Rapid City, SD Lead $0.35 / lb
Bristol, PA 304 Stainless Steel $0.40 / lb
Ventura, CA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.10 / lb
Holly Hill, FL Yellow Brass $1.25 / lb
Port Perry, Ontario* Insulated Copper Wire $0.40 / lb*
Truro, Nova Scotia* Aluminum Siding $0.15 / lb*
Pittsburgh, PA Dirty AL Radiators $0.10 / lb
Oskaloosa, IA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.00 / lb

Ferrous Market News

With the Brazilian mines back up and running after the horrible event a few weeks ago with hundreds of people being killed, we may start to see the prices dip down. Along with the high output of oil and gas in the US we will continue to see the iron market been a very difficult one to judge in 2019. 

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/9 – 1/15):




Aurora, IL Light Iron $140 /ton
Lebanon, TN Shreddable Steel $0.05 / lb
Perkasie, PA Light Iron $120 /ton
Boise, ID #1 Steel $100 /ton
Hanwell, New Brunswick* Shreddable Steel $80 /ton*
Port Hope, Ontario* Shreddable Steel $155 /ton
Barrie, Ontario* Light Iron $155 /ton
Georgetown, DE Light Iron $140 /ton
Braddock, PA Light Iron $140 /ton
Hamlet, IN Shreddable Steel $100 /ton

Other Markets

The palladium market has continued to be a hot one with Catalytic Converter Prices really growing over the last three months. With palladium now worth more per ounce than gold it has also upset part of the catalytic converter market because it has changed the value of some cats compared to what they have traditionally been. When platinum and palladium were closer in price seen some of the catalytic converters that were being graded would be similar in pricing, now with palladium been worth so much more money you may start to see and question some prices like you have not before.

Thank You.

Share your thoughts with us on what you think is going to happen with the trade agreements, metal prices for the rest of this year, and anything else that may affect the scrap market one way or another. We love hearing and talking about new ideas because that’s the only way to continue to learn and grow. Until next week, scrap you later!

– Tom

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