Steel Continues To Fall, Copper Hits 2-Year Lows – 9/5/18


We hope that everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend and spend some time barbecuing and relaxing with their families. Last week was a little bit of a slower week for trade because of the holiday and with this shortened work week, we have seen the markets reacting to so many headlines right now.

Unfortunately, this week started with copper dropping almost $0.10 per pound on Tuesday. While leveled off this morning, there’s still a lot of turmoil overall. 

With continued negotiations with Canada and continued hope that the US and the Chinese can work out a deal, there are almost too many headlines to count at one time. 

Quick Numbers

  • Two. As in two companies worth One Trillion Dollars (Apple and now Amazon)…maybe we should change our name to start with an “A.”
  • 21% – The amount of copper is down from recent four-year highs.
  • A lot– The number of complaints that the market is down, we know, it’s nuts.

Non-Ferrous Markets

Copper Tries To Stay Ahead In A Rough Market

With copper continuing to be the headline overall, we’ve seen the market weaken with too many people not knowing where trade relationships are going. While the US resumes talk with Canada today about a possible new trade deal, the positive headlines of a deal with Mexico from 10 short days ago seem like years by now. 

With a Nickel market continuing to weaken, we started to see companies holding onto large amounts of scrap stainless steel with the hope that trade deals will be worked out and agreed upon in the next 3 to 6 months.

While copper is at a two-year low right now and slightly above where it bottomed out a few short weeks ago, it has still been a very volatile metals market overall. Aluminum prices have weakened and there does not seem to be any clear-cut answers that have come through in recent weeks.

Reported Non-Ferrous scrap prices (8/29-9/4):




Sharon Hill, PA Housewire $0.50/lb.
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.27/lb.
Zephrhills, FL Aluminum 6063 $0.48/lb.
Hollister, MO #1 copper tubing $1.70/lb.
Harrisburg, PA Aluminum Radiators $0.35/lb.
Manassas, VA Electric Motors $0.49/lb.
Titusville, FL #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.00/lb.
Tampa, FL Dirty AL Extrusion $0.30/lb.
Solvay, NY brass shells $1.00/lb.
Hayward, CA PC Towers $0.23/lb.
Winnipeg, Manitoba* Brass $1.75/lb.
South Dennis, MA aluminum siding $0.30/lb.

Ferrous Scrap News

Steel Continues Its Fall

The steel and iron market continues to be a weak point as the Summer of 2018 winds down. We have seen prices dropped $50-$70 per ton minimum in different markets, with some of the Midwest markets having drops of $100 per ton one more on certain items. 

We have been watching the recorded prices come through and some people are getting per ton on Light Iron and per ton on heavy unprepared steel, so while many people are disappointed with the prices just think about how bad it could be if you were in other areas of the country. For those of you that are experiencing most low prices please continue to have high hopes that the market will recover.

Reported Ferrous scrap prices (8/29-9/4):




West Palm Beach, FL Light Iron $120/ton
Sanford, FL Shreddable Steel $120/ton
Peterborough, Ontario* Light Iron $160/ton
Westport, MA Light Iron $130/ton
Lithia Springs, GA Shreddable Steel $160/ton
Bridgeport, CT Light Iron $115/ton
Portland, OR #1 Steel $170/ton
Granville, TN Shreddable Steel $100/ton

Other Markets

With gold dropping below $1,200 an ounce, and the continued overall negative news or no news coming out of the markets, it has been a tough summer for all prices.

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