Steel Prices Are Up Again, Copper Isn’t Moving – 3/27/19

With the first quarter of 2019 wrapping up, we are happy to see how everything shook out the first three months of the year.  With no more tariff increases and additional conversations between the US and the Chinese continuing, we have been watching very closely to the world markets. 

With the oil and gas prices at a stable level even with increases the last month or so they have been relatively minor. We have been watching to see what happens with some of the accelerated markets such as Palladium or platinum and the catalytic converter industry. We have continued to see people posting a lot of pictures of Catalytic Converters on the Facebook group and we have been interested to see how the market place out. More on that later.

Quick Numbers

  • $0.06 – Amount per pound copper is down week over week.
  • 29% – Increase in 2019 Oil Prices- Yikes!

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Would like to wish congratulations to Brandon and his wife on their wedding, and sometimes it’s nice to just step back and not think about scrap and congratulate people like we have seen being done through our Facebook group. But it was also nice to see his reaction to coming back and getting back onto the scrap bandwagon. Again congratulations and we hope that everyone has something good going on and can share more pictures of their scrap, stories about what they’re doing, and post prices for what they’re receiving.



Non-Ferrous Market News

The copper market has been relatively calm in the last week even though the prices are down a few cents per pound. With the market decreasing slightly we did not see a large swing one way or another and reported prices have shown that most if not all scrap yards in the US and Canada have continued to have higher prices month over month compared to February.

While the copper market has slipped over the last week, we still have seen a nice increase from where it was one month ago. We have started seeing more and more people having larger markets for their insulated copper wire but at the same time, we have heard more questions from different customers and scrappers across the US. Many people keep asking why different insulated copper wire prices have been changing and different grades have been getting introduced, and that has been one of the toughest things about the change in the copper market the last year

We have also been closely monitoring the aluminum market which seems to be starting to have small signs of life. While the prices have not recovered nearly to the extent that we would like, we are able to see some increases which have been a welcome sight.

Overall the market is in a very strong position still in with more questions yet to be answered we are continuing to wait, watch, and learn how the markets will react with hopeful news on a tariff deal coming very soon.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/20 -3/26):




Mt. Pleasant, WI Brass $1.30 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.57 / lb
Cameron, MO #2 Copper Tubing $2.15 / lb
Blue Island, IL Aluminum Siding $0.30 / lb
Lakeland, FL Stainless Steel $0.31 / lb
New Albany, IN Bronze $1.00 / lb
Everett, MA Aluminum Cans $0.50 / lb
Bowling Green, KY Carbide $5.70 / lb
Marion, IA #1 Copper Tubing $1.85 / lb
Pinson, AL Insulated Copper Wire $0.60 / lb
Morgan City, LA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.60 / lb
Yakima, WA #2/3 Mix Copper $1.27 / lb

Ferrous Market News

With the price of steel been up again week over week, we are happy to see how the market has been reacting. It seems that there is a continued higher demand for some of the heavier grades of steel which were lacking for much of the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. We are hoping that this demand continues and when you add the oil and gas prices being up at the same time we see no reason for the pricing on steel to be on a decline especially with a possibility of a tariff agreement coming soon.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/20 -3/26):




Owensboro, KY Automobiles $170 /ton
Nesbit, MS Unprepared Cast Iron $140 /ton
Brooklyn, NY Cast Iron $160 /ton
Green Bay, WI Sheet Iron $135 /ton
Blue Island, IL Light Iron $140 /ton
Eugene, OR Cast Iron $90 /ton
Covington, KY Unprepared Cast Iron $100 /ton
Albany, NY #1 Steel $236/ton
Glen Burnie, Ontario* Light Iron $0.06/lb
Cameron, MO Shreddable Steel $130 /ton
Lima, OH Light Iron $120 /ton

Other Markets

With minor instability in the stock market we have seen the price of gold increase but with the tariffs still held in China both in and out of the country for electronics, we have not seen a large jump in the scrap electronics markets.

The pricing on Palladium has continued to climb and we have seen these markets really increased recently. We have seen more and more pictures being posted online of the catalytic converter’s and people getting pricing and has been very interesting to watch how this market has exploded more than ever over the last 5 to 6 months. 

Suggested Reading: How Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices Are Determined

Thank You.

We try to answer as many questions as we can and get as much information pushed out there as possible, but we always welcome more information being pushed us or ask so we can help you out. Until next week scrap you later!

– Tom

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