Reopening The Economy: Help or Hurt Scrap? – 5/13/20

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Hey Scrappers!

We hope that everyone is welcoming multiple markets re-opening and we hope that you are watching the markets as closely as we are, by tuning into our national price page where we update those averages daily. We are continuing to look at all of the comments that we see on social media, which give us a much better direction on how and what you are looking for and looking to learn about.

Every other Wednesday, we are going to be doing a Q & A session on our weekly Facebook Live at 1 PM (EDT) which will give us the opportunity to answer more of your questions. Please ask away and we will get to them over the next couple of weeks.


Quick Numbers

  • $0.03 – Copper markets down recently, not shocking as trade fears are on the horizon.
  • 11 – 11 More states have begun soft Phase-1 Openings for restarting their economies.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Scrapper Ray M. was out and about loading things that we use all the time – shopping carts! We have seen some creative uses from shopping carts before for different scrap metals being transported around yards to different people using them around their outside home yards. But at the end of the day – they all get scrapped.


Non-Ferrous Market News

As we’ve watched the copper prices reacting in a positive way, we have a couple of things that we have been watching to see what type of domino effect is going to happen. With possible trade problems between the United States and the Chinese again over the origin of the COVID-19 spread, there’s talk of the Phase 1 Trade agreement being canceled or changed or delayed. This will affect the copper prices as manufacturing could possibly be started in the United States as opposed to in China. Different companies are talking about moving their operations from China to the United States and that will have a big impact on how some copper prices will be handled moving forward.

There are so many outside factors that are going to affect the scrap markets right now, we are constantly watching to see what is going to be going on as things change and adjust over the next few months.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/6 – 5/12):




Port Allen, LA Christmas Lights $0.08 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.00 / lb
Peoria, IL Lead Wheel Weights $0.08 / lb
Glasgow, KY Aluminum Cans $0.25 / lb
Cleveland, NC Lead Batteries $0.22 / lb
Colorado Springs, CO #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $1.60 / lb
Provo, UT Insulated Copper Wire $1.20 / lb
Billings, MT Brass Scrap $0.90 / lb
Jacksonville, FL #2 Copper Tubing $1.50 / lb
Minneapolis, MN #1 Copper Tubing $2.01 / lb
Bowling Green, KY Aluminum 6061 $0.24 / lb
Oakland, CA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.05 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Stability Is Not A Bad Thing…

We have seen a stable oil market shaping up and we are starting to see parts of the economy in the world re-opening their business. All of these things will be extremely crucial when it comes to the iron and steel market increasing. If you think about how things work, we have to have an active manufacturing market to be able to warrant higher steel prices.

Until we begin to see a return of manufacturing and more normal buying patterns from consumers inside of the United States and the world, it’s going to be tough to expect any type of an increase in the steel markets for the foreseeable future. 

The fact that we saw an increase in the steel prices over the last five weeks is a very positive sign considering the deep decline that we saw in the month of March. Now, a lot of what we do is going to be focused on how the economy is going to react to manufacturing reopening and the possibility of more products finally being produced and sold.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (5/6 – 5/12):




Harrisburg, PA Shreddable Steel $40 /ton
Warrenton, NC Scrap Iron $3.50 /CW
Hurlock, MD Light Iron $4.25 /CW
Bowling Green, KY Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Indianapolis, IN Shreddable Steel $90 /ton
Wilkes Barre, PA Light Iron $0.03 /lb
Lebanon, TN Shreddable Steel $50 /ton
Lansing, MI Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Mulberry, Fl Light Iron $0.035 /lb
Alliance, OH Shreddable Steel $90 /ton
Denver, CO Shreddable Steel $55 /ton

Other Markets

We have seen the prices of gold stay above $1700 per ounce but one of the big problems that we have heard is that a lot of material that was previously being pushed overseas for refinement is now staying domestic or not getting purchased at all. On top of that, the Nickel market which will affect items like stainless steel and different grades Inconel has seen a deep decline and has become very difficult to move. 

The catalytic converter market has seen declines in most of the three metals that affect it. While we have seen a little bump in the rhodium market as of late, overall, we have not seen the recovery near to the record levels we saw the first six weeks of this year nor do we expect to see those anytime soon. If you’re looking to get more pricing on your catalytic converters please click here.

Thank You.

We want to thank all of the first responders and healthcare professionals, as well as the trucking outfits and food services that continue to service the nation. We hope that everyone continues to stay safe and positive.

– Tom

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