Don’t Look Now, But Copper Is Going Up – 4/8/20

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Happy Health!

We hope that everyone is staying healthy and doing well. With so much craziness going on we hope that everyone is following their local state and federal government suggestions and staying home, as often as possible. It seems like we are starting to get a handle, as a nation on this horrible time and we hope to see some of these numbers going down in the coming weeks. We want to wish a very special thank you to all of the healthcare workers, as well as the military that has stepped up over the last few weeks. We consider all of you heroes and we hope many others do as well.

Suggested Reading: How Long Can COVID-19 Live On Scrap Metal?

With some good news, we have seen the market climbing over the last couple of days with renewed optimism that the curve is starting to level itself off and the virus is beginning to have containment. We have seen copper jump about $0.16 per pound on Monday and Tuesday combined and hopefully, as things get back to normal some of these increases stay the same.

Quick Numbers

  • $0.16– Increase in copper prices this week.
  • $1.91- Average national price per gallon for gas.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

We love seeing how people make money in their spare time and using a wire stripper is always a good idea. This week iScrapper Steve C used his to strip some of his copper and it looked like he has a great set up for the garbage right underneath it! Share what you are doing from home with us on our Facebook group.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Looks Good

We hope that everyone has been enjoying the nice increase in copper that we have seen in the last couple of days. After seeing an increase in the market, it gives us a little renewed sense of optimism that we will be able to continue this going forward. One of the problems that we will see right now is that the markets are reacting to positive news in the health world, but we do not know when many scrap yards will re-open or the entire country will reopen in any sense of what normal could be.

Is Lead Going Down?

Different markets that we have not seen any changes have been the aluminum markets, as well as stainless steel. We have seen the lead market show a bit of a decrease with the prices going down $0.03-$0.05 per pound and soft lead is about $0.02 lower per pound on batteries. Another thing that we have learned about by talking to other scrap yards and larger brokers is that most are canceling 30-day contracts, as soon as the 30th day comes which means that some scrap yards that will be shut for 2 to 3 weeks that would normally be selling material as it comes in have no price guarantees moving forward. Once things start to return back to normal, this will cause a little bit of a problem initially for a scrap yard to get back up and running.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (4/1 – 4/07):




Dumas, TX Aluminum Rims $0.34 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $1.82 / lb
West Palm Beach, FL AL Extrusion $0.40 / lb
Aurora, IL Aluminum Cans $0.35 / lb
Bloomington, CA Aluminum Copper Radiators $0.65 / lb
Cleveland, TN Electric Motors (Copper) $0.10 / lb
Carrollton, GA Ballasts $0.07 / lb
Springfield, VA Brass $1.00 / lb
Clackamas, OR #1 Copper Tubing $1.60 / lb
Seymour, TN Insulated Copper Wire $0.15 / lb
Tempe, AZ Hard Drives $0.25 / lb
Fresno, CA Aluminum Breakage $0.05 / lb

Ferrous Market News

While we have seen the oil prices increasing recently we have not seen this correlate in the higher steel prices lately. One of the largest problems is that a lot of the export markets have been shut down and there’s going to be further things down the road that we’re starting to see and hear about once things begin to return to normal. There are other countries such as India that have a slower response time and are restricting more and more ships coming into their country which means a lot of the scrap steel will not have a home as things start to settle down.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

We have seen the price of steel essentially cut in half over the last three or four weeks with the oil market dropping as quickly as they have and it’s been a very difficult thing to see overall. On top of that, there does not look to be any increase coming as steel is not highly traded pricing wise, like copper is so it makes it a little more difficult.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (4/1 – 4/07)):




Maple Grove, MN Shreddable Steel $20 /ton
Charleston, SC Sheet Iron $0.015 /lb
Portland, OR #1 Steel $0.08 /lb.
Rochester, NY Tin $73 /ton
Worcester, MA Light Iron $40 /ton
Seymour, TN Shreddable Steel $0.01 /lb
Chattanooga, TN Scrap Iron $1.50 /CW
Tempe, AZ Plate & Structural Steel $0.03 /lb.
Waynesboro, VA Scrap Iron $4.00 /CW
Long Island, NY #1 Heavy Melting Steel $134 /ton
Halifax, Nova Scotia* Incomplete Car $0.08 /lb.

Other Markets

The catalytic converter market has been affected by rhodium dropping over 40% in the last week or so. Rhodium prices have been extremely erratic with the market climate, as high as $13,000 per ounce and also going as low as $3000 per ounce all over the last month. Imagine going to buy something and having price fluctuations of 60 to 70% in a short period of time and then applying it to an industry that relies on higher rhodium prices to provide higher catalytic converter prices. It’s been very difficult, but we’re continuing to look at this market and you can always go to to learn about the prices and sign up for more market news.


Thank You.

We hope that everyone is staying healthy and staying in tune with what the state and federal governments are recommending. As a company based near the NYC area, we know that it is so hard to be able to stay-at-home and not be scrapping as often, but we all have to do our best to get through this together and healthy.

– Tom

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