Steady Scrap Prices Across The Board – 5/19/21



Try saying those two words together 10 times fast and let’s see how well you do. In the meantime, enjoy some of the copper prices, as well as the increase in iron over the last two weeks. While so many people are only talking about the number of vaccinations and the possibility of inflation (there is more than one reason why they’re talking about it & it’s probably because it’s Stripped Copper Wirehappening), we want to try to focus our attention on the commodities markets and give a prediction for you to look to.

We fully expect gas prices to increase, copper prices to stay high, and most metals, including aluminum and steel, to thrive the rest of this year. But let’s think about that later, because don’t forget that in the summer of 2021, we have a brand new 2.0 version of the iScrap App coming out to help you look at some of the prices even faster and more efficiently.

Quick Numbers

  • 2.4% – Global iron ore mine output growth will average 2.4% over 2021-2025 compared to -2.0% over the previous five years, highlights a new report by market researcher Fitch Solutions.
  • 378 Mill – This would lift annual production by 378 million tonnes in 2025 compared to 2020 levels, roughly the equivalent of India and Russia’s combined 2020 output.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Who can relate? 🙋‍♂️😂  We love posts like these, so keep em’ coming. Join our Facebook group Scrap Metal Recycling Talk, where you can post all the scrap metal memes and comics your hearts desire. Or maybe you should join because it’s a community of over 10.4k scrappers 😱 Members provide daily tips and scrap metal finds, and it’s also another way for you to get your questions answered by scrappers just like you (besides asking us, your long-time, trusty scrap metal resource 😉 we’re always here to help).



Featured Question 

Question: “What are the most affordable, but essential, tools for scrapping?”

Tom: “We always suggest spending $50 on basic tools that do not include power tools. Having different size sockets and a beginner screwdriver set can immediately help. We also suggest having a pair of metal cutters, as well as a magnet and a file. These are great starter tools.”

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Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper’s Got Legs 🏃‍♂️

Markets have been adjusting relatively well, considering the amount of money that’s been invested today is more than ever. We mention that because many of the commodities are driven off by high sales demands, homebuilding, and global reliability. With many countries far behind the U.S. in terms of re-opening, we could possibly see copper prices further increase as the rest of the world comes back online.

Copper prices remain high, even with a $0.10/lb pull-back this morning. We have seen strong prices for the last two months. This has been a hot topic among scrap yard owners that we have talked to and found out that their biggest fear is how high the prices go and with that, how their risk increases. In the meantime, enjoy the high prices and know that the commodity may have real legs for the next 14 to 18 months.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (05/12 – 05/18):




Little Rock, AR #1 Copper Tubing  $3.20 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $4.15 / lb
Lufkin, TX Aluminum Cans $0.53 / lb
Fresno, CA Brass Shells $2.20 / lb
Baton Rouge, LA Irony Yellow Brass $2.22 / lb
Harrisburg, PA Romex® Wire  $1.60 / lb
Davenport, IA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.34 / lb
Yazoo City, MS Old Sheet Aluminum $0.30 / lb
Twin Falls, ID Brass Scrap $1.60/ lb
Osgood, IN #2 Copper Tubing $3.20 / lb
Niagara Falls, NY Copper Insulated X-Mas Lights $0.10 / lb
Detroit, MI Car Batteries $0.22/ lb

Ferrous Market News

The Iron Market ⛓

We have seen the price of iron increase by over $40/ton across the board on heavy grades of material, even as many report the iron ore market having problems shipping overseas due to labor and supply chain issues. Light iron and smaller grades have not increased as sharply, but we still foresee a great month of May.

Things that could hold back iron in the market would be further talks of inflation, gas problems, oil disruptions during the summer, and increased mortgage rates leading both commercial and home consumers to higher pricing during construction or renovation periods. The biggest thing that we’re going to look for is how the rest of the world comes back online over the next 3 to 5 months, as well as different monetary policies that the current administration is looking to implement.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (05/12 – 05/18):




San Antonio, TX Scrap Iron $0.07 / lb
Westwego, LA Shreddable Steel $180/ ton
Portland, OR Tin $180 / ton
Marietta, GA Shred $0.07 / lb 
Omaha, NE Automobiles $220 / ton
Sharon Hill, PA Light Iron $9.00 / CW
Cullman, AL Tin $8.00 / CW
Apopka, FL Cast Iron $10.25 / CW
Durham, NC #1 Prepared  $0.09 / lb 
Independence, KS #2 Prepared $155 / ton 
Springfield, MO Clean Auto Cast $240 / ton

Other Metal Markets

Hot Demand for Aluminum 🔥

Aluminum pricing continues to stay strong as markets have hot demand, even with many people discussing a shortage of aluminum for the rest of the year. That could lead to prices remaining at the levels they currently are and possibly increasing towards the second half of this year. We have seen the price for sheet aluminum go up about $0.15-$0.20 overall, while other higher commercial grades have gone even higher than that.

While aluminum is not talked about as much as copper is, inside of the electric vehicle market, it is still going to be one of the major metals that will be needed in the expansion of electric vehicles, as well as for infrastructure.

Catalytic Converter Market News



The catalytic converter market has now created its own version of normal, with the prices continuing to remain very strong overall. These markets do not seem to be weakening, other than a few fluctuations, which is to be expected with any global commodity. With increased demand and more cars getting traded in or scrapped out, we have seen further price stability in the catalytic converter market, overall.

At, the team has been buying and quoting catalytic converters, and instead of telling you more about them, why don’t you take a look yourself and see what other people have said.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (05/12 – 05/18):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $512/@
GD3 $900/@
JSH62 $520/ @
12606389 $486 /@
25130440 $399/ @
Small Foreign $143/ @
Regular Domestic $228/ @


Thank You.

The scrap industry is in a really nice period of time that could last for months, or possibly a couple of years. One thing that we know is that you continuing to tell us what you need to help you make more money with your scrap is what we want to focus on. Please continue to reach out to the team, so we can develop new ideas and talk about new and growing concerns inside of the overall industry. You can reach us on all of our social media or send us an email at [email protected]

– Tom

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