Steel Continues Its Climb – 12/4/19

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Scrappy Holidays! 

We’d like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season as the holidays have kicked off and we hope that everyone has enjoyed the beginning of it. It seems like day-to-day we have a see-saw effect with the markets, news, and pricing on all of the different materials that everyone is so concerned about.

Steel has been seeing the GREEN arrows the last few weeks and it continues, which is great news, but before we continue, let’s discuss the overall market!

One day it seems like we have a trade agreement on the horizon and the next day it seems like the trade deal is falling apart. This is one of the troubling issues, as to trying to figure out how the market is going to work moving forward. We would love to have a solid answer on it but unfortunately, we are not able to as political pressures and problems are contributing to this more and more as the days go on.

Quick Numbers

  • 20 Days – Until the big man in red comes.
  • 2 Weeks – Until most trading patterns lighten up- thus having a harder time getting prices.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Sometimes reinventing the wheel is too hard to do- but reinventing how to stack aluminum wheels does not seem like that bad of an idea! iScrapper Troy did just that by using some 2×4’s and a little innovation to be able to get his wheels stacked up and clean. This saves ground space and provides organization this way. We have seen other scrappers making shelves for their stuff to sit on so they are organized, why don’t you let us know what you do!



Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Drops on News

Up. Down. Up. Down. That’s what the market has been doing over the last two weeks and there has been no real market indicator on getting a solid idea on what’s going to be happening with all of this trade talk. Copper has continued to hover plus or minus in the same $0.10 per pound range but without knowing more of what’s going to happen it’s going to be much more difficult to gauge or give any type of an idea of the market overall.

Aluminum has given us little to be thankful for this season as the markets have continued to be in the tank. Without any type of lifting of sanctions, tariffs or positive trade deals, there does not seem to be any type of positive market indicator that the scrap market will recover anytime within the next 3 to 6 months, other than a couple of pennies here or there. Unfortunately, when the tariffs went into effect and the reason for them was to try to level the trade playing field; All of the countries and companies that have to pay the tariffs, had to come up with a way to do so, without hurting their bottom line on profits.

The only logical reason to see the scrap prices going so much lower compared to new production is that these companies and countries were able to use the scrap market to offset the new production market and cover the tariffs. It’s a very unfortunate thing for all of us in the scrap world, but unfortunately, it is exactly what has happened and will continue to happen going forward until more positive news comes in or things change.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (11/27 – 12/3):




Santa Fe, TX Brass Pipe $1.35 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.25 / lb
Toledo, OH #1 Copper Tubing $1.95 / lb
Chesterson, IN #2 Copper Tubing $1.75 / lb
Middletown, NY Sheet Aluminum $0.16 / lb
Sanford, FL Insulated Copper Wire $1.30 / lb
Granville, TN Aluminum Siding $0.25 / lb
St. James, MO Brass $1.20 / lb
Thorold, Ontario* 304 Stainless Steel $0.35 / lb
Lethbridge, Alberta* #1 Copper Tubing $2.20 / lb
Toronto, Ontario* Brass $2.05 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Steel Continues Its Climb

Who likes hearing good news? I’m sure the answer is everyone and the good news is that we have seen the iron and steel market increasing month over month for the last two months. With the markets climbing we have seen another $10-$15 per ton been added onto many of the reported steel prices over the last few weeks and that is a great sign moving forward. What type of increases have you seen in your scrap yard? Did they give you any type of indication or do they just surprise you?

One of the biggest things other than pricing that we have encountered and talked to others about has been the lack of transparency, as well as the downgrading of material at many of the scrap yards across the United States. With these markets being so much lower, a lot of the yards have tightened up their procedures and a lot of material that otherwise would be sold at a higher grade and higher value has been devalued and has been getting sold much much cheaper. Now some scrap yards have not changed their buying practices as they have had a positive overall effect in their area and with their customers. But many have seen a large difference when it comes to a lot of the buying practices.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (11/27 – 12/3):




Kansas City, MO Shreddable Steel $40 /ton
East Chicago, IN #1 Steel $84 /ton
Tulsa, OK Cast Iron $40 /ton
Streetsboro, OH Rotors $140 /ton
Ferndale, NY Light Iron $85 /ton
Sarasota, FL Shreddable Steel $80 /ton
Rockwood, TN #1 Steel $60 /ton
Union City, GA Light Iron $90 /ton
Cornwall, Ontario* Cast Iron $166 /ton
Richmond, British Columbia* Light Iron $50 /ton

Other Markets

Gold has remained under ,500 per ounce but the platinum, palladium, and rhodium markets have improved slightly, meaning some of the catalytic converter prices will be up as well. Overall most other markets have been relatively calm and we have been waiting for some type of positive news in the copper, aluminum or stainless markets, as little signs of improvement have come up recently.

Thank You.

Just a reminder that we will not be having videos the last couple of weeks of this year and next year as the holidays fall on Wednesdays but we will certainly do our best to pre-record one and get it posted, so you have an idea of what is going on with the markets. But we have found over the years is that the last two weeks of the year and the first two weeks of a new year generally have low trading and slow market price movement.

– Tom

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