Is It Time To Cash In Steel? – 10/24/18

Hey iScrappers!

Unless you were the lucky one that hit that $1.6 Billion jackpot and is celebrating – we are happy to have you back with us this week. With less than two weeks to go until the mid-term elections we only have one vote in mind…Higher Metal Prices! We hope that everyone has been staying busy and has been able to find some more prices out there. 

We have been listening to a lot of people and we want to touch on something early, that is the catalytic converter market. As many of you know “cats” are one of our favorite scrap animals (maybe more so than junkyard dogs!) and with palladium prices hitting all-time highs we have seen catalytic converter prices increasing steadily. One of the reasons that this precious metal has increased so much is because of the stock market getting thrown all over the map the last few weeks. 

Quick Numbers

  • – 2.35% – The amount that the stock market has fallen the last 5 days.
  • $0.20 – The average price that brass went down over the last 6 weeks with the Chinese pulling out of the market.
  • 13 days – Until November mid-term elections.

Let’s Get Social

Our favorite post over the last week was about the little things that make you happy. Scrap = Money but Money = Money and Adam picked up a dryer that had some cash money in it!

Non-Ferrous Market Update

With copper staying relatively calm over the last week we continue to look towards the elections for guidance going forward (as well as ANY news from the Chinese). We continue to talk to other buyers thought the US and they are seeing much of the same things. Other countries are starting to come on board to by Insulated Copper Wire but the market is still very difficult because buyers know that there is an oversupply right now.

We have seen other metals markets get affected with Gold hitting 34 per ounce the other day and Palladium has jumped to those all-time highs that we referenced earlier. Aluminum has continued to be one of the tougher items to move with these tariffs in place and some scrap dealers have said that it is taking them months to really move lower grades of scrap aluminum. 

Reported Non-Ferrous scrap prices (10/17-10/23):




Rogers, AK #2/3 Mixed Copper $1.75 per lb.
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.53 per lb.
Nashville, TN Painted Aluminum $0.40 per lb.
Hayward, CA #3 Aluminum $0.35 per lb.
Northern Cambria, PA Cast Aluminum $0.35 per lb.
Utica, NY #1 copper tubing $2.12 per lb.
Kent, WA Lead $0.45 per lb.
Jasper, AL Insulated Copper Wire $0.35 per lb.
Watertown, NY #2 copper tubing $2.07 per lb.
San Jose, CA Electric Motors $0.12 per lb.
Tacoma, WA 304 Stainless Steel $0.32 per lb.
Laurel, MS #1 copper tubing $2.20 per lb.
Odenton, MD Laptops $0.25 per lb.

Ferrous Markets

With the price of steel and iron increasing week over week over the last 4+ weeks you’re happy to see the market respond in the way that has after the price drops we saw in the end of the summertime.  We have started to see it some manufacturers reporting their third-quarter earnings and many have so I did the tariff issues as one of the major concerns going forward. 

Some companies like Caterpillar, have said that the tariffs are affecting their bottom lines and that will become a major concern going forward with part of the negotiations with many countries especially China. While we wait on more news it seems that many mills and furnaces are looking for high-grade material and that is part of the price increase over the last few weeks. 

Reported Ferrous scrap prices (10/17-10/23):




Milwaukee, WI Shreddable Steel $155/ton
Logan, UT Light Iron $160/ton
Chesapeake, VA Shreddable Steel $80/ton
Rogers, AK #1 Steel $130/ton
Marinette, WI Light Iron $105/ton
Riverton, WY Shreddable Steel $100/ton
Morgantown, GA Scrap Iron $60/ton
Clearfield, UT Shreddable Steel $100/ton
East Dubuque, IL Light Iron $80/ton
La Habra, CA Shreddable Steel $60/ton

Other Scrap Markets

With the aluminum market in a tail spin the Nickel and stainless markets have been very similar as well. Nickel continues to get hammered and that has reflected on the stainless markets really getting beaten down overall. Do not expect to see higher stainless prices anytime soon…bummer.

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