Inflation Improving or Hurting Scrap? – 5/11/22


Copper Dropping- Oil Increasing

With another week of the Chinese having heavy Covid lockdowns, it continued to see metal prices declining. While that is certainly not the only issue, it is one of the hot pot and topics that recently come to counter costs. We see the markets having a pullback in total (other than gas). 

This may be a market correction, but it also may be a possibility of an economic slowdown where inflation could start to take over and cause metal prices to go down. These prices had such a nice run-up that this quick pullback is not nearly as bad as others have been in the past. What are the oil and diesel prices continuing to hit record highs? Many of those transportation costs pushed to the consumer and prices are taken away from Scrap. On top of that, we are still seeing many?‘s about when or if we could ever return to pre-pandemic shipping levels; it may be delayed as an economic pullback could be expected. 

Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – HOLD 

  • Aluminum – SELL

  • Brass – HOLD 

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – SELL

With copper prices dropping about $.65 over the last two weeks, it has been a bit of a surprise across the market. But if you dig a little deeper, it won’t be as shocking as you can see countries like China having massive Covid lockdowns, and as China continues to be the world’s largest consumer of copper, these pullbacks should not come as much of a surprise.
With inflation rearing its ugly head around, we see the federal reserve raising interest prices. What goes to the market is it looks like it has strengthened the US dollar, and by strengthening the US dollar, we have started to see other currencies become weaker, and commodity prices have suffered because of that. As commodities are generally known as an industry currency, we see the prices dipping down again should not become a surprise when you start to look at all the factors that surround the price decline.
We also saw the price of nickel dropping, and we saw aluminum prices on the decline. Some grades of aluminum have dropped between 20 and $.30 per pound just in the last three weeks alone. This should not cause significant problems for concern as it is a market correction and should be looked at in the long term as a good thing.

Non-Ferrous Price Chart of the Week

Current Copper Scrap Prices


Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • #1 Steel – HOLD 

  • Shreddable Steel – SELL

  • Light Iron – SELL

  • Cast Iron – SELL

  • Complete Car – SELL

With diesel prices hitting record highs, we continue to see the crippling decisions that have come out of Washington DC and how they affect the market. How many want the country’s electrification to happen overnight? By eliminating many pipelines and limiting the amount of oil pumped out of the United States, diesel prices have become one of the largest losers from different economic decisions. These decisions will show you how the steel prices can quickly decline due to the rise in fuel costs and the strengthening of the US dollar, as we mentioned earlier.
A strong US dollar means that material does not have to get exported, or if it is getting shipped, the value wants to be decreased due to a stronger dollar, and you need to make up for that somewhere else. That somewhere else is the pricing on Scrap, and it looks like we may have seen some of the highest prices quickly fade over the last month, with prices dropping over $100 per ton. 

Ferrous Price Chart of the Week

Current Steel Scrap Prices

Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters – SELL

We have seen the average price per catalytic converter drop to around $165. Compared to the record highs of May 2021, prices were about $235. That is a significant decrease, but you’re also looking and comparing to some of the all-time high prices, which no one expected to happen but did back in 2021. The material is available, but there continues to be concern about different supply chain issues and how quickly the precious metals are getting back into the market in new consumer vehicles. 
The team at continues to monitor the markets. If you’re looking for further information or newsletters, please go to the website where you can sign up for market price alerts and learn more about catalytic converters in total.

Other Metal Markets: New Age Batteries

The lead battery market has seemingly dried up to a point where the prices almost don’t make sense. We have seen many battery recyclers turning away lower grades of materials, and some larger scrap yards are having difficulty moving some of the newer and more obsolete batteries. This could lead to a market lot, and we could see these prices continuing to decrease where a national average for car batteries is currently around $.19 per pound; we could see that go down to $0.14 or $0.15 relatively quickly.
We continue to listen to your comments and your ideas about how many new videos we could make, and what features we could add to the app and we always look forward to hearing from you about different ideas I can help. I hope that you were staying busy and let us know if there’s anything else that we can go over until next time we will scrap you later. 

Thank You.

We have a couple of videos and podcasts that feature interviews with family inside the Scrap business and Scrappers. If you’re looking to be featured, interviewed, or even interview any of the people at iScrap, let us know to get it together.

– Tom


Other Valuable Resources 

Ready To Scrap Your Car?