Scrap Metal Prices & News This Week – 8/1/18

Welcome to August!

That’s seven months down and five to go to before we restart a new year – and boy what a year it has been in the scrap world! Let’s update you on some of the things going on over the last week…

Tariffs Are Hurting Scrap…Again.

Yup, they are happening again and it continues to hurt the metals industry. Tuesday night we heard that the Trump administration could be raising the 10% tariffs on Chinese goods up to 25% on over $200 billion worth of goods.

What happened? Well, Wednesday morning we saw copper drop almost $0.10 per pound and that erased the slight jump the copper markets saw in the last few weeks. 

What does that mean for scrap prices? Obviously, a $0.10 drop in copper will immediately hurt as we have seen copper prices remaining near 2-year lows and now the growth over the last week is gone.

Suggested Reading: Check Out Our Tariff Updates

Steel Industry vs. Consumer Goods

While the tariffs have been great for the 150,000-180,000 workers in the iron and steel industries throughout the US, we have seen a larger hit happen for other companies – and this is where the confusion is happening. 

While the steel staying more domestic is good, it has hurt industries like manufacturing and the auto industry due to higher pricing for raw goods. That pain will translate to slightly higher prices in the consumer goods markets for cars and other items that have metal in them. 

Long-term it seems like the Trump administration has a plan, but regardless – we can see why some people are angry.

Non-Ferrous Market News

Aluminum has taken a hit lately and we have seen prices down $0.02-0.03 cents per pound over the last week. With continued overall doubt and questions in the whole metals market, this should not come as a surprise…nor would more drops in the future weeks or months. 

Copper has been the bearer of bad news this summer and it seems like we will not have good answers on the markets until at least the Fall or whenever the US and ChLina sit down at the table to talk things out. Rumors are swirling that the Chinese are going to possibly be out of the entire scrap metals markets within 2-3 years and if you think that things are crazy now, we may not have seen anything yet.

Suggested Reading: Ripple Effect of Trade Wars on Scrap Metal

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (7/25 – 8/1):

Location

Material

Price

Minneapolis, MN Stainless Steel $0.43/lb.
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.51/lb.
Toledo, OH Brass Scrap $1.56/lb.
El Paso, TX #1 Copper Tubing $2.13/lb.
Dallas, TX Aluminum Cans $0.50/lb.
Tulsa, OK Aluminum Siding $0.45/lb.
Twin Falls, ID #1 Bare Bright Wire $1.70/lb.
Cambridge, MN Computer Wire $0.30/lb.
Tempe, AZ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $1.25/lb.
Omaha, NE Insulated Copper Wire $0.58/lb.
Castroville, CA #2 Copper Tubing $1.50/lb.
Marietta, GA  #2/3 Copper Mix $1.60/lb.
Jonesville, MI #1 Copper Tubing $1.95/lb.

Ferrous Market News

Steel prices have seen both an increase and decrease, depending on how you are looking at the markets right now. There have been increases in the prices of cold rolled finished steel products, while other markets like scrap have taken a hit over the last week and a half. 

Scrap prices have decreased three weeks in a row with a $20 per ton price drop overall on all grades of steel over that time. Scrap yards that we have spoken to have still seen a lot of materials coming in and that is still a sign that there are a lot of jobs going on still and scrap has to be moved.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (7/25 – 8/1):

Location

Material

Price

Sturgis, MI Shreddable Steel $160/ton
Elyria, OH #1 Steel $0.06/lb.
Vicksburg, MS Scrap Iron $0.09/lb.
Lithonia, GA #1 Heavy Melting Steel $160/ton
Pageland, SC Cast Iron $0.09/lb.
Lithonia, GA Shreddable Steel $0.07/lb.
Exeter, RI Light Iron $145/ton
Vinton, VA Shreddable Steel $0.06/lb.
Erie, PA Light Iron $150/ton

Other Markets

In other news, like the grim reaper, we’re a hooded black mystery with not too much positive light, but we try to turn things around. The world is in a large flux right now and a lot has to do with tariffs, new trade agreements, and anything else that you can think of that may affect scrap like oil and gas pricing. Figure that we have a crazy market for the rest of 2018 and it will possibly get crazier.

Let us know what you have been scrapping and share pictures online through our Facebook Group.

Scrap ya later!

-Tom


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