Is Inflation Affecting Scrap Metal Prices? – 10/13/21


18 More Days… 🎃

Until trick-or-treating returns and hopefully, scrap prices continue to go up. October is traditionally a scary month, but it looks like we might be in for quite the opposite. Copper prices have risen so far in the first week and a half, and the expectations that steel prices are going up continue to be very high.

We will get into the steel prices down the road, but it looks like we have established new floors for multiple types of metal, and that’s a good problem to have. Knowing that these metal prices could remain no lower in the current markets or around here than we see right now, it will be a really positive thing for a very long time. Now the only thing that we’re absolutely sure about is death and taxes, but with Halloween coming around, we hope this will be a little scrap candy for you.

Quick Numbers

  • 64% increase – Crude oil has risen 64% this year to a seven-year high. Natural-gas prices have roughly doubled over the past six months to a seven-year high.
  • Over $3/gallon – Heating oil has risen 68% this year. Prices at the pump are up nearly a dollar over the past 12 months to a national average of just over $3 a gallon. Coal prices are at record highs.
  • Up $0.24 – Over the past 5 trading days, copper has gained $0.24/lb.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlightcoins

For anyone who scraps washers and dryers, don’t forget to check for change first! This isn’t the first time someones posted about getting extra lucky. Group member James made an extra $4.31 in change when further inspecting a dryer before scrapping it. That may not seem like a lot, but c’mon, it’s free money. We’ve heard of some group members finding up to $20 in change, so it’s worth a look, in our opinion. 



Featured Question

Question: My local scrap yard pays a flat price for all aluminum, but they like it separated. To gain favor with my scrap yard, should I separate it or say screw it since there is nothing in it for me?

Tom: “Find a new yard. If they do not teach or compensate you more, find a new yard.”

Non-Ferrous Market News

Signs of Inflation 📈

Well, aluminum prices have not gone up as quickly as they did in September; we have not seen these markets decrease in any way either. The aluminum market seems to be spinning higher prices than we’ve ever seen; for many metals, we’re seeing people reporting prices around the country that only dealers were used to getting for many years. These higher prices are only the beginning, but they show signs of inflation that scrappers should be aware of.

The current economic climate shows that while metal prices are high, we also have the prices of goods and services increasing simultaneously. So if you’re someone that generally charges a fee to get rid of things, you might want to consider increasing your service charges or your pick-up fees. For those who don’t charge, you may want to start.

Speaking of pick-ups, copper prices have picked up and are at 35-day highs. This is great news, and we’re seeing more prices coming in online, showing exactly that. Not only is the industrial backlog from semiconductors affecting scrap, but it’s also going to be pushing these prices higher for the foreseeable future.

Suggested Reading: Why Are Aluminum Scrap Prices Rising?

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (10/6 – 10/12):




Cullman, AL Painted Aluminum $0.55 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $4.00 / lb
Alsip, IL #2/3 Mix Copper $3.35 / lb
Seguin, TX Refined Rebrass & Copper $0.77 / lb
Rock Hill, SC Aluminum Copper Coil $1.40 / lb
Pipersville, PA Romex® Wire $1.75 / lb
Little Rock, AR #1 Copper Tubing $3.10 / lb
Henderson, NV Yellow Brass $2.10 / lb
Anchorage, AK Aluminum Clips $0.37/ lb
White Bluff, TN Brass Heater Cores $1.70 / lb
Louisville, KY Carbide $4.50 / lb
Waynesboro, VA Car/Truck Batteries $0.20 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Steel Stabilizing 👌

Now for a little more good news. Steel prices have not shown any movement at all in the last two months other than downward. These prices have gone down from the middle of July and stabilized in September, but we are now hearing and seeing an increase in the markets. October might show minimal increases, but it looks like we could see an increase overall between $25-40 per ton towards the end of the year.

Some of that movement is due to the oil prices hitting seven-year highs, and while no one wants to pay more money to fill up at the pump, they will see their scrap prices increasing, and hopefully, the money you make there will offset the increase in fuel.

Don’t forget to let us know what prices you see out there or prices that you’re getting by recording it through the app on your iPhone or Android.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (10/6 – 10/12):




Charlotte, NC Shreddable Steel $0.08 / lb
Akron, OH Scrap Iron $0.12 / lb
Lafayette, IN Tin $160 /ton
Tulsa, OK Complete Car $190 / ton
South Windsor, CT Light Iron $155/ ton
Valley Park, MO Scrap Iron $0.08 / lb
Kankakee, IL Shreddable Steel $0.07/ lb
San Antonio, TX Light Iron $0.09/ lb
Land O’ Lakes, FL Shreddable Steel $0.08 / lb
Lafayette, LA Scrap Iron $150 / ton
Cleveland, OH #1 HMS $225 / ton

Other Metal Markets

Backed Up Ports 🚢

We’ve seen lower grades of scrap, such as sealed units and electric motors, being pushed by the wayside as many shipping routes continue to have significant problems. This means that the prices have or should be more stable than they are because there’s such congestion at many shipping ports. Exporters and local recyclers having problems moving material like they usually would.

Catalytic Converter Market News



PGM Recovery 💎

Pricing on catalytic converters has been much stronger over the last couple of weeks, with platinum and palladium looking to have bottomed out shortly after rhodium experienced the same. With platinum being the primary metal used in diesel catalytic converters, we did see many of the DPFs and other diesel systems having decreased prices. The uptick in palladium has increased catalytic converter pricing back to what we were seeing in August.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (10/6 – 10/12):

Cat Type/Serial Number


Foreign Exotic $482/@
Foreign X-Large $358/@
Domestic Regular $160/ @
Domestic Pre $125 /@
SM Breadloaf $224/ @
Bead Regular $224/ @


Thank You.

We are happy to share any stories that you might have about your struggle to find scrap or even your struggle to move scrap. Let us know if you ever want to be spotlighted or if you want us to talk about something that you’re more interested in when it comes to scrap prices. Don’t forget to post your prices through the app, and until next time, we will scrap you later.

– Tom

REMINDER: Today, Wednesday, October 13, is the last day to enter your scrap license plate idea before we take all the responses to a community vote, so make sure to enter here


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