Prices Are Dropping, What Does It Mean For You? – 5/8/19

Jump To Non-Ferrous Prices


Jump To Ferrous Prices


We hope that everyone has been staying busy and we first want to wish all of the families of the most recent and tragic Colorado shooting our thoughts and prayers, as these things should never happen let alone be happening to children. We hope that everyone makes it through as best they can and the families can start their healing process. 

The last few weeks have not been the brightest few weeks in the metals market as we have continued to see a decline overall.  With much uncertainty on what is going on between the US and the Chinese tariffs negotiations, we’re continuing to see a massive decrease in the stock market which is affecting all metal prices and other commodities as well. On top of that, we have all of the problems going on with the Iranian sanctions and potential oil throttling and it has been a very tumultuous beginning of the month of May. 

Quick Numbers

  • $0.11 per lb – The drop in copper on Thursday May 2nd.
  • $325 Billion of Chinese goods are about to be hit with a 15% tariff increase from 10% to 25%.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

We love hearing how people find treasures all over the place and this was one of them! While the car was garbage – the tires were great and we got to see how Grant G. was able to save himself $800; probably 3 – 5x the amount he even made on scrapping the car!


Non-Ferrous Market News

We always say that there are a few weeks each year that we don’t want to do our weekly report because it never seems to be good news and this is one of those weeks. On top of the iron market having such an awful couple of months, we have now seen the copper market beginning to hit a decline. The primary factor for these markets reacting the way that they are is due to the tariffs negotiations which had been at an impasse with the Chinese.

While members of the Chinese trade negotiations have arrived in the US for what is being called the final round of tariffs talks, we have continued to see unrest in the market and it has resulted in copper prices dropping about $0.22 over the last 15 days. Originally about a year ago when all of these things started to happen we said that we needed until June 2019 to figure out how these markets were going to shake out and how they were going to be affected long-term. It seems like we are pushing all the way to that limit and we still don’t have an answer as these trade negotiations have become more and more complex as the year has moved on.

Of course in the scrap world, we are looking at this purely from a metal standpoint- but one of the things to think about overall is that the markets are reacting to the tariffs in a whole and how they will affect the trade talks. With the threat of the tariffs increasing this Friday (5/10/19) from 10% to 25% and affecting billions of dollars of goods, we have seen that the US is serious about correcting this trade in balance that we have seen over the last 25 years and disruption in the market is what is happening.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/1 – 5/7):




Gainesville, TX Aluminum Siding $0.35 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.47 / lb
Scarborough, ON* #2 Copper Tubing $3.05 / lb
Tempe, AZ Yellow Brass $1.30 / lb
Westport, MA Nickel $6.00 / lb
Lakeland, FL #1 Copper Tubing $2.31 / lb
Mandan, ND Aluminum Cans $0.30 / lb
Cleveland, OH Stainless Steel $0.30 / lb
Hancock, MD Computer Wire $0.25 / lb
Fresno, CA Brass $1.41 / lb
Woodinville, WA Insulated Copper Wire $0.41 / lb
Augusta, GA #2 Copper Tubing $2.20 / lb

Ferrous Market News

As we have discussed over the last few weeks we have continued to see these markets in a decline although over the last week we have seen the market level itself out slightly.  Referencing the news about the non-ferrous market with the trade negotiations with the Chinese, we can reference the same problem when talking about the iron and steel market. While we’ve looked for any sign of life, it doesn’t seem there is any positive news, but we’ve continued to watch and learn about what the market is doing. 

We’ve heard that many of the furnaces will be shutting down for periods of this summer due to their yearly maintenance and with that creeping around the corner it won’t be surprising to see more of a decline in the markets overall. This is, unfortunately, going to be a pattern that looks to continue for at least the next 3 to 6 months as we are waiting for any signs of positive trade talks and global economic growth. On top of that, we have problems with the oil markets being upset, the stock markets were in flux because of the Chinese trade negotiations.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?


Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/1 – 5/7):




Orillia, Ontario* #1 HMS $215 /ton
Nashua, NH Cast Iron $100 /ton
South Beloit, IL Sheet Iron $75 /ton
Cleveland, OH Light Iron $90 /ton
Barbourville, KY Cast Iron $90 /ton
Gadsden, AL Tin $0.06 /lb
Columbus, GA Shreddable Steel $80 /ton
Hancock, MD Light Iron $90 /ton
Billings, MT Cast Iron $140 /ton
Portland, OR #1 Steel $130 /ton
Newfoundland, CA Light Iron $80 /ton

Other Markets

While we have already mentioned the oil prices and other markets, we have been very aware that the stock market has been in flux over the last few days with decreases anywhere from 5 to 700 points. Even though some of those decreases worry us, it is still unsettling to see these decreases being as deep and quick as they’ve been. All of these have affected the overall markets and we’ll continue to watch them.

Thank You.

We look forward to hearing any of your thoughts whether positive or negative on what you think is going on with the markets. We love seeing all of the reporting prices that are coming in as we had talked to multiple scrappers that had utilized the iScrap App as a tool to remember the prices that they had at their local scrapyard. 

– Tom

Related Articles:

*Canadian Dollar