Damn, It’s Cold: Are Prices Heating Up? – 1/30/19


With freezing temperatures in the negative degrees throughout the midwestern part of the United States and with wind chills and then temperatures into the -50 to -60° range, we hope that everyone in those areas stays warm and keeps safe. We can’t believe that one month of 2019 is already in the books and we’ve been able to see all types of different market trends with not one being consistent.

Oil and gas prices have begun to rise, which is not surprising considering OPEC started to put a hold some of their output. You would think that this would help drive some of the metal prices up, where it has not had that effect and we have continued to see the markets being unstable.

Not to mention any of the political problems that are going on with your certainly not causing investors, commodity suppliers, or other market driving factors to have real confidence in what’s going on.  Let’s try to get a little more in depth and don’t forget if you have any questions please comment below, email us, or reach out to us through our social media outlets. 

Quick Numbers

  • $0.04 – Amount per pound that copper is up on the trading block the last few days. 
  • 80.3% – Utilization Rate at Steel Mills in the US, that means that they were operating at 80% of their capacity and that is up 7% year over year due to the tariffs.
  • 86.7 Million Tons – Amount of crude steel produced by the US in 2018. (194 billion pounds – WOW!)

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

We like to post about positive ideas, cool things, and always talking about prices. We saw a post from a user that made us a little upset – but then we saw some of the comments below the post and realized that sharing (or bragging – whatever way you want to cut it) might show others what to do, what not to do, what to look for, what is or is not worth it. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper prices have been a little brighter over the last week with the market starting to show some more signs of increases. Now don’t get too excited, we’ve been able to see some of these numbers jumped up and jump back down every other day it seems. What we continue to look for and wait for is the market reacting to hopeful positive trade news with the Chinese.

Other than the copper market, we have constant movement in most other metals but it seems to be very, very small increases and decreases. The Nickel market continues to get pushed down with stainless prices been reported down every week this month and not looking good going forward. We have also seen decreases in the Lead market which will affect not only your wheel weight prices, your lead – acid battery price, but also your soft lead prices. 

If you pay attention to any part of the news you would have heard multiple contradicting stories about all different markets. You may also have heard about the political unrest in other countries such as Venezuela where there are two parties that are claiming to be in power. All of these outstanding world events contribute to the unrest and non-consistent markets. 

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/23 – 1/29):




Waterbury, CT Sheet Aluminum $0.33 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.42 / lb
London, Ontario* Brass $2.17 / lb*
Brookhaven, MS #2/3 Mix Copper $2.10 / lb
Belleville, IN Yellow Brass $1.40 / lb
Raleigh, NC Lead Batteries $0.21 / lb
Ventura, CA Computer Wire $0.33 / lb
Waterbury, CT Electric Motors (Copper) $0.07 / lb
Lakeland, FL Aluminum #3 $0.35 / lb
Moses Lake, WA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $1.90 / lb
Minneapolis, MN Aluminum Breakage $0.09 / lb
Campbellville, Ontario* #1 Copper Tubing $2.70 / lb*
Fort Meyers, FL Aluminum Siding $0.45 /lb

Ferrous Market News

With economy been in a bit of a standstill with a lot of these tariffs talks, political problems, and even with a strong stock market we are still seeing massive unrest in the commodities prices. We have seen a strong steel output in the US, which is a good thing but we have not seen enough overseas advances for some of these pricing increases to start happening.

One of the most positive things that we’ve seen is that the US has continued to produce a massive amount of oil. What does this mean for the scrap community? With the US now exporting a lot of their oil, instead of relying on other countries to bring oil and gas and that has been one of the reasons that we’ve been able to see some of the scrap prices stay down. Wow, that’s great for the gas pump and for your gas budget, overall it has affected the steel and iron markets. 

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/23 – 1/29):




Ventura, CA #1 Prepared $80 /ton
Havermill, MA Light Iron $90 /ton
Ellisburg, NY Shreddable Steel $180 /ton
Huron, SD Scrap Iron $130 /ton
Waterbury, CT #1 Steel $90 /ton
Burbank, WA Shreddable Steel $70 /ton
Hyattsville, MD Light Iron $60 /ton
St. Louis, MO Shreddable Steel $120 /ton
Waukesha, WI Light Iron $115 /ton
Waynesboro, PA Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Portland, OR Light Iron $115 /ton
Lancaster, PA Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Richmond, British Columbia* Light Iron $100 /ton*
Moses Lake, WA Cast Iron $170 /ton

Other Markets

We have seen the gold prices go above $1,300 per ounce for the first time in 8 months. While this may seem like a positive sign, often times the gold prices increase when many people since the turmoil in the market or instability in different political climates. 

While the gold prices being higher should seem like a positive sign it has not truly affected the scrap electronics markets.

Thank You.

Let us know what you think about the markets, the movement up down or sideways, and hopefully, we can get a better understanding as a scrapping community of what’s going on.

– Tom

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*Canadian Dollar