How Much Longer Will Oil & Covid Affect Scrap? – 6/30/21




Did you see that copper price?

We certainly did. It wasn’t going crazy over the last few days, at least making us a little calmer. Over the last week, we haven’t seen much market movement across any metal fronts except a little bit of a decline in the steel market. Just trying to figure out what is going on in our lives, let alone inside of the world of scrap and commodities, is certainly difficult, and we’re going to try to help you through it this week.

Some of the things that we have noticed and we plan on talking about will range from oil prices to the new potential bipartisan infrastructure bill, and then we will talk about the used car market at the same time.

Quick Numbers

  • 64% increase – Coal delivered into northwest Europe earlier this month hit its highest price since November 2011, having climbed 64% in 2021.
  • 54% decrease – Lumber futures have fallen 54% after shooting up to more than four times the average price during the most recent springs before the pandemic.

    Glass insulators

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

We wanted to feature a cool find from a member of the Scrap Metal Recycling Group. This is a glass insulator used once to insulate/serve as a medium for attaching wires to poles and preventing electric current loss during transmission. Fun Fact: the oldest glass insulators date from about 1846 😱 

It turns out these items are collectible and range in value from $2 to $400. They are evaluated on these criteria:

  • Age
  • Rarity
  • Condition
  • Demand
  • Manufacturer.

Have you come across one of these while scrappings? 




Non-Ferrous Market News

It depends on World Factors 🌎 

So what do you think about this market? We think it is extremely confusing, frustrating, exciting, and certainly better than a year ago. But moving forward, we think it will depend on how different pieces of things, like the infrastructure bill and the electric vehicle market, progress. All of these have a major impact on the world’s commodity supplies and dictate where all the prices of metals go over the next few months and years.

These are some of the hardest questions to answer, but we continue to scour the web for ideas, opinions, and research to see what’s going on with the market. We all hear about different chip shortages and how much copper could be needed in the electric vehicle market. Still, sometimes you can learn more about walking up and down your street and seeing what people are throwing away, as well as what people are keeping and fixing. Many consumers want to get new things, like a new car, but with so many problems in the supply chains across the world, we have a lot of problems with copper and aluminum consumption moving forward.

With most non-ferrous commodities remaining strong, even with fluctuations from day to day, we see a lot of hard-working people making money and cashing in their scrap that they’ve been collecting over the last few months, weeks, or even years. We would love to know what you think about the market, and you can email us through our website or [email protected]

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/23 – 6/29):




Medford, NY Stainless Steel $0.45 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.75 / lb
Bremen, GA Aluminum Cans  $0.50 / lb
Portland, OR Computer Wire $1.55 / lb
Salina, KS Old Sheet Aluminum $0.45 / lb
Durham, NC #2 Copper Tubing  $3.06 / lb
Barstow, CA Aluminum Rims $0.30 / lb
Webster, PA #1 Copper Tubing  $3.00 / lb
Manassas, VA Brass Shells $1.90/ lb 
Oklahoma City, OK Aluminum Copper Radiators $1.70 / lb
Tacoma, WA Brass Scrap  $2.30 / lb
Cleveland, OH Aluminum Siding  $0.60 / lb 

Ferrous Market News

Oil Prices & Covid 🦠

Did you see what happened to the market over the last week? We certainly did, and it was heavily affected by oil prices dropping for the first time in several months. Those oil prices dropping caused the market to shift in a downward way, and we saw decreases across the board of anywhere from $7-22  per ton on average. These seem to be short-lived as the demand continues to increase and looks to be picking up. But week over week, we have not seen a huge change.

With oil prices, along with the amount of oil getting pumped out of the ground throughout the world, constantly being in question right now, it may take a little more than 3-6 months to figure out what’s going on with the overall market. With mass disruption throughout the world due to Covid-19, we still don’t know what travel will look like for the business world again or what fuel consumption will look like as people get back to work.

These are all exciting and important topics that will massively affect the market prices and steel for the rest of the year.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/23 – 6/29):




Woodstock, GA Shred $0.09 /lb
Victoria, TX Light Iron $0.05 /lb
Sioux City, IA Shreddable Steel $200 /ton
Salisbury, NC #1 Steel $9.00 / CW
House Spring, MO Shreddable Steel $165 / ton 
Sharon Hill, PA Light Iron $0.10 / lb 
Chesapeake, VA Scrap Iron $10.00 / CW
Sacramento, CA Light Iron $175 /ton
Osgood, IN Light Iron $190 /ton
Tumwater, WA Tin $170 / ton
Quebec, Canada* #2 HMS $155 /ton

Other Metal Markets

Battery Recycling 🔋

Many people have asked us about the different types of batteries that are not lead-acid and how to recycle them. We have outlined how tough some of these new H batteries are to recycle in some of our different podcasts and blogs. Not only are many of these batteries very small coming out of laptops, cell phones, and tablets, but they are also difficult to pull out as many of the batteries are built into the devices nowadays.

We are continuing to work on a long-term guideline to help you learn about lithium-ion and other rechargeable battery recycling markets. Still, we would love to hear from you and how you handle any of these things, from drill batteries to old electronics containing lithium-ion.

Catalytic Converter Market News


With over 12 million cars a year finding their way to the scrap yard, it leaves a lot to be searching for. Not searching for a way to get rid of them, as much as a way to get a hold of them and sell them. With 12.5 million cars getting scrapped, that leaves you millions of opportunities to find the catalytic converters on them while buying them and selling them to the local yards. We have seen that scrappers are learning through not only what to look for but also how to prepare and make more money with their cat scrap.

With these different prices and positive pieces of news, we are seeing really positive market signs going into the second half of this year. Over the last week, we have seen a small increase in the rhodium market of about 6%, as platinum and palladium have stayed relatively steady, if not having a small increase. If you want to learn more about how to sell your catalytic converters, please visit, Rockaway Recycling’s YouTube page, and let us know what you think about the cat market.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (6/23 – 6/29):

Cat Type/Serial Number


Foreign – Pre  $84/@
Foreign – Large  $378/@
Honda 02 $646/ @
Chrysler $302 /@
GM – Small Breadload $292/ @
GM – Large Breadloaf  $195/ @
Bead Jumbo  $145/ @


Thank You.

[Paragraph – Closing Remarks]

– Tom

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