Steel Continues Its Fall, Copper Steady – 12/12/18

Good Day iScrappers! 

Is there something that you are wishing for Christmas (other than scrap)? Let us know and maybe we can put in a good word for you with the big man in the red suit- if not, let us know and we can research some tools and ways for you to make more money scrapping. With 13 days left until Christmas, we have been seeing more and more reported prices coming in for loads that people are cashing in in time for the holiday. 

With the copper and metals market in flux, we find this no big surprise considering that it is December. This has historically been a funny month, and then add the tariffs in, the up and down stock market, along with the holidays- mix that all together in a big pot and you have the market that we are seeing today. 

Let’s get into some more scrap talk.

Quick Numbers

  • $40 per ton – How much the steel market has gone down the last few weeks on average. With the market being flooded by a lot of Chinese products and overseas countries not selling right now- it may be a long winter for steel.
  • $1238 per ounce – No, not the price of gold- but the price of palladium. The dull and white metal has become a hot point and has the catalytic converter market heating up.
  • 19 – The number of days until 2019, and some people are anxiously counting them down to escape this waning metals market

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

We read about this article and then coincidentally saw someone post it online the other day. It is crazy to see the stories that are out there and it ruins the good name that so many scrappers have for themselves. We have heard so many great stories about people saving money, making money, making scrapping their full-time jobs that when we hear and see these things it kind of- well, stinks.


Non-Ferrous Market News

With copper staying much in the same range we have seen for the last week we have not gotten too excited or amped up for positive price changes for the rest of 2018. With the markets moving a few pennies up or down the month of December we are waiting for some type of positive market news to be able to get the optimism growing for 2019. 

With a lack of imports going into China, and the Chinese rumored to continue to stockpile what they are buying and mining, we may see a potential crash of copper at some point soon. This may not be what people want to hear but we have talked to 6 different scrap yards in the last 3-4 weeks who have been hoarding and saving copper – that means that there are a lot of others doing the same thing.

What does this mean? Well if and when the market shows a large jump then we may see millions of pounds of the material flood into the markets and very quickly. This will not be a good thing but could possibly erode the market potential gains quickly. Again, we are speculating, but there is also a reason that many yards are saving and holding onto millions of pounds of copper- just saying.

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




Longmont, CO Stainless Steel Sinks $0.20 per lb.
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.50 per lb.
Atkinson, NH Wiring Harness $0.60 per lb.
Perryville, MO #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $1.95 per lb.
Fort Wayne, IN Clean AL Wire $0.10 per lb.
Williston, ND Car/Truck Batteries $0.13 per lb.
Ida Grove, IA Brass $1.30 per lb.
Marion, NC #2 Copper Tubing $1.90 per lb.
Statesville, NC #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.40 per lb.
Muskegon, MI Aluminum Breakage $0.10 per lb.
Piedmont, SC Old Sheet Aluminum $0.25 per lb.
Woodinville, WA Copper Transformers $0.11 per lb.
Brook Park, OH Communications Wire $0.30 per lb.

Ferrous Market News

Much of the same negative news, but it is still news we guess. The markets have been steadily down and there seems to be little to no good news in site. We hear that the Chinese are flooding the steel markets with tens of thousands of tons of steel, some mills selling material at cost in order to drive down prices and hurt the ongoing tariffs. 

With overseas demand for steel going to Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries dropping off, and the supply going in US mills at capacity we have started to see another decline in the steel prices. This is similar to the market declines that we saw during the summer- only to rebound in the Fall- and now erode again. These markets have been very difficult and we have to be weary that this may be the new normal for the foreseeable future. 

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




Mankato, MN Shreddable Steel $90/ton
Williston, ND Unprepared Cast Iron $50/ton
Pewaukee, WI Light Iron $150/ton
Ida Grove, IA Scrap Iron $130/ton
Thomasville, NC Shreddable Steel $100/ton
Johnson City, TN Light Iron $110/ton
Chicago, IL Shreddable Steel $140/ton
Athens, GA Light Iron $150/ton
Los Angeles, CA Shreddable Steel $100/ton
Parkersburg, WV Light Iron $140/ton

Other Markets

Gold has recovered and has hit over ,250 per ounce with it topping out at ,254 per ounce a few days ago, we have started to see investors put more money into gold funds with so much uncertainty in the US stock markets right now. But we have also seen Palladium hit all-time highs which has been a great thing for the catalytic converter markets. 

We have seen so many people on our Facebook Group talking about cat prices, how to know what they are worth, and who to sell them to – we figured it was worth mentioning. 

Thank You – SCRAPPPP Ya later.

– Tom

P.S. Santa comes in 13 days. HO HO HO!

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