How Oil Is Affecting Scrap Prices This Week – 4/22/20

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Happy Earth Day! 

First and foremost, we would like to thank all of the healthcare workers, as well as the frontline workers at grocery stores, pharmacies and all other lines of work that are on the front lines helping so many people out right now. It has been a very tumultuous month and a half and we are hoping to see the line continue to dip down and people become more and more healthy. With today being Earth Day, we would like to celebrate its 50th birthday. We saw some statistics that have talked about how this worldwide shut down would affect world pollution and how fossil fuels being used so irregularly right now will cut down on multiple countries’ overall impacts.

Suggested Reading: This Earth Day: Importance of Metal Recycling

We know that this is one of the most incredibly difficult times that any of us have ever been through and we can only give advice the best way that we know possible and that is to stay as healthy as you can. We have to continue to follow the guidelines and go through the steps as best as we can to try to get back to whatever the new normal is.

Quick Numbers

  • 1998 – Oil is at its lowest price since 1998 and dipped into negative territory.
  • $0.01 – 0.12 – The change in copper prices during the 4/21 market changes.
  • $30 per ton – Increase in steel per ton the last two weeks. 

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

This week we wanted a good laugh and iScrapper Rick D. provided that for us with his ventilation mask. There is so much going on that a good laugh is what we need sometimes and in the meantime, we hope that everyone is staying at home as often as possible and staying healthy. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

Aluminum Is Still Very Low

Copper prices have remained relatively steady over the last week. We have watched the markets and while there have been massive decreases because of the oil fluctuations right now, overall it has been in a pretty good spot. Copper had a very bad start on Tuesday morning dropping $0.12 but was able to recover and only fell $0.08. This morning, we were able to see the copper prices increase over $0.05 per pound and we have become very optimistic that this market is going to stabilize itself moving forward.

There are a few other markets that have not been moving much at all. We have seen aluminum prices remaining extremely low and have not responded up or down during this outbreak. We have seen the price of stainless steel decreasing but not more than $0.02-$0.03 per pound.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (4/15 – 4/21 ):




Fontana, CA #1 Copper Tubing $1.06 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $1.80 / lb
Commerce, TX Aluminum Cans $0.10 / lb
Prestonburg, KY Computer Wire $0.08 / lb
Williamsport, PA Brass Scrap $1.17 / lb
Kennewick, WA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.05 / lb
Westport, MA Cast Aluminum $0.20 / lb
Jefferson City, MO 304 Stainless Steel $0.23 / lb
Cameron, MO Car/Truck Batteries $0.15 / lb
Grand Junction, CO Lead Batteries $0.12 / lb
Garland, TX Forktruck Battery $0.20 / lb
Northwood, NH Aluminum Cans $0.13 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Oil Prices Are Really Affecting Steel

If you like roller coasters then you will want to pay attention to the oil market and how it reacts with Scrap Iron moving forward. These markets are extremely difficult to gauge right now, as we have seen a market that does not know which way is forward or which way is backward. While we have seen the iron market increasing about $30 per ton over the last two weeks, we have not had extreme confidence moving forward as there are too many questions yet to be answered or even addressed. With oil prices moving in such a downward trajectory and the economy at a standstill and metals not being needed, it is extremely difficult to predict what will happen moving forward.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

We have heard of some larger scrap yards that stopped taking material from smaller peddlers and are only taking material from trucks that have the ability to dump out their loads. These larger scrap yards generally control a lot of the flow of the overall scrap markets and we are interested to see what happens moving forward.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (4/15 – 4/21):




Cameron, MO Shreddable Steel $50 /ton
Chickasha, OK Shreddable Steel $0.01 /lb
Commerce, TX Tin $0.01 /lb
Jefferson City, MO Shreddable Steel $20 /ton
Garland, TX Light Iron $0.02 /lb
Philadelphia, PA Unprepared HMS $0.0575 /lb
Mitchell, SD Incomplete Car $5 /ton
Springfield, IL Light Iron $30 /ton

Other Markets

The catalytic converter market has become extremely difficult recently as prices have fluctuated for all three of the precious metals that go into the markets. We have seen the rhodium price’s jumping around like a jumping bean going up or down 15 to 40% from week to week. With fluctuations like that, it makes it extremely difficult for catalytic converter buyers to purchase your cats and know what they will sell for. That’s why we continue to recommend trying and see how the team quotes your cats and they hold those prices for seven business days.


Thank You.

We wish you nothing but health and safety during these rough times. Please continue to reach out with questions for us, as we are looking forward to answering them and pushing through the craziness that we are in. Stay healthy and safe and Happy Earth Day.

– Tom

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