iScrap 2.0 is Here & Copper Pricing Is Everywhere – 8/25/21



iScrap 2.0 is HERE 📲 🎉


We have been working on this for years and are excited to be sharing it with you. With updated prices, easier ways to view articles, and of course, reporting prices is easier than ever. We hope that you can make even more money using the iScrap App with this latest app version. After you download or update to the newest version and take a look around, please let us know what you think, both good and bad, so we can keep working to make it better!


The markets have been hectic (to say the least) over the last week and a half. With prices dipping down and going below the $4.00 trading mark for the first time in months, we saw panic in scrap world nation. We have since seen a quick uptick, with the markets recovering to the levels that we saw less than two weeks ago. That means we are in for a bit of a rocky ride, no thanks to political agendas and other world issues. 

Oil prices jumped about as quickly as a jumping bean flies off the table and have since gone down in recent weeks. It greatly hit the steel market, and it has been a hot mess when you look at prices and scrap flows. The good news? Well, we hear that some of the iron ore prices got hit so hard that we may see scrap prices remain steady for the foreseeable future. 

Quick Numbers

  • 40% decrease – The price of iron ore has fallen roughly 40% since mid-July on concerns about demand from China, which makes more than half of the world’s steel.
  • 8.4% weaker – Steel output in July was 8.4% weaker than a year earlier, its first monthly decline for 2021 from 2020 levels.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight’

Alright, scrappers, who have been left something like this from their parents OR plans to leave something like this for your own children?

This week’s Facebook group poll is… where do you find the most scrap? So far, it looks like a popular answer is word of mouth, but if you have a different response, make sure to join the group (11.2K members and counting) and contribute!


Featured Question

Question from Ariel Kozak: Have you ever had your hands on nickel superalloys in your scrap yard? (turbine blades)

Tom: “Yes, we have. We have recycled these not only from aircraft but also from gas turbines used to create power.”

Non-Ferrous Market News

Aluminum’s Safe While Copper Frightens 😰

Aluminum markets falling does not seem to be a phrase that is happening anytime soon. With markets staying really strong over the last few weeks, we have continued to see high demand for aluminum scrap across the country. All grades have been highly desirable, with clean grades being on the top of the list. Some items like sheet aluminum prices have not kept up with some of the other percentage increases, but that is not a surprise, as sheet aluminum takes much longer to process and is generally dirtier.

Copper’s fall and the quick rebound came as a surprise. We’ve watched these prices adjusting all over the place, and these large declines very much scare the scrap world and scrap buyers since they have been dropping like crazy and not increasing as fast.

Tom’s Take: “The markets fell so fast and so hard that my own scrap yard dropped as quickly as the markets did. Moving into the end of August, we do not expect to be as aggressive as world tensions are scaring buyers in big ways right now.”

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (8/18 – 8/24):




Hayward, CA Stainless Steel $0.60 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.50 / lb
Zion, IL Car/Truck Batteries  $0.18 / lb
Minot, ND Aluminum Cans $0.30 / lb
Fort Myers, FL #2 Copper Tubing  $2.77 / lb
Birmingham, AL Yellow Brass $2.20 / lb
Shreveport, LA #1 Copper  $3.51 / lb
Burlington, NC Aluminum Clips (MLC) $0.45 / lb
Tulsa, OK Clean Lead $0.42 / lb
Lexington, SC Aluminum Extrusion (100% Clean) $0.47 / lb
Chattanooga, TN Clean Aluminum Wheels  $0.71 / lb
Winnipeg, Manitoba* Insulated Wire  $1.20/ lb

Ferrous Market News

The Iron Ore Rally Couldn’t Last Forever 📉

Iron ore prices hit record highs earlier this year, which helped the scrap market have major upswings. But those upswings didn’t last forever as we have started to see some of the prices coming down in recent weeks. This is not only due to oversupply but also to worldwide demands being pushed down. One reason is the price to ship materials right now. We saw numbers that some overseas shipping had gone up 2-3 times the prices that they were pre-pandemic and that those prices may be here to stay…period.

What does that mean for steel? The good part about the government pumping trillions of dollars into the world is that inflation will also affect scrap prices. Scrap prices will go up just like oil and gas, as well as thousands of consumer good prices set to increase. These prices will affect everyone from the Mom and Pop type of companies to the employees that work for major conglomerates. This means that the no increase on taxes looks good when you talk about your paycheck, but with all commodity prices increasing, we will be paying more for the same products.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (8/18 – 8/24):




Stroudsburg, PA Light Iron $9.55/ CW
Joliet, IL Shred $225/ ton
Scranton, NY #1 Steel  $0.08 / lb 
San Marcos, TX Shreddable Steel $0.11 / lb 
Athens, GA Shred/Tin $7.00 / CWT
Osgood, IN Light Iron $180 /ton
Independence, KS #1 Prepared  $190 / ton
Onawa, IA Shreddable Steel $183 /ton
Springfield, MO Cast Iron $275 / ton
Palm Beach, FL Shreddable Steel $0.07 / lb
Brigham, Quebec* #2 HMS $155 / ton

Other Metal Markets

Specialty Alloys Picking Up Steam ♨️

Specialty alloy markets like Inconel, Carbide and other tungsten-based alloys have increased as of late. We have seen these markets picking up steam, and one of the reasons is not just because of inflation but because so many manufacturers are trying to adjust to the backlog of material flows that they have seen. While expensive, specialty alloys are generally used in specialty machining operations and other types similar to the aerospace world. 

Moving forward for the next 18 months, we do not see a larger market pullback but maybe some mini rollercoaster movements seen in recent weeks. 

Suggested Reading: How Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices Are Determined

Catalytic Converter Market News



PGM Pullbacks 🚗

Yeah, so we have seen some drops. Close your eyes and listen only (well, we guess you have to read this, sorry). We’ve seen 20% pullbacks in different grade prices, partially due to the over-inflationary period the auto sector saw in 2021. With the demand for vehicles so high, we are not surprised that the first half of 2021 saw an uptick in PGM metal prices, affecting scrap catalytic converters.

Moving forward, we are looking at a potential for another 10% in overall pricing to come off of the top, but those prices may be temporarily depressed as the demand still seems to be soaring. 

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (8/18 – 8/24):

Cat Type/Serial Number


Foreign Exotic $700/@
Foreign X-Large  $372/@
Domestic Regular $170/@
Domestic Pre $129/@
Sm Breadload $232/@
Bead Regular $33/@


Thank You.

Let us know what you think of the new app; play with it, like it, report prices, and be honest. We promise we won’t take it to heart ❤️ Without your input, we cannot make it better, and our goal is to help you learn and make more money with your scrap.

– Tom




What We’re Following:

*Canadian Dollar

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