Tensions In Ukraine Affecting Scrap Prices – 2/23/22



In the last few weeks, we have seen huge and solid markets overall. We have seen the needs stabilizing with a stable copper market over the previous few weeks. Instead of just talking about copper and steel prices, we want to talk about potential problems that are going on that will affect the scrap markets soon.

Of course, everyone is going to talk about the problems over in Ukraine and have those are going to affect the commodity markets, which they certainly will. As oil prices undoubtedly continue to climb, we are going to see the benefit of higher oil prices involving most commodities on the metal and Scrap side of things.

We will continue to see the markets increasing, and they’re already talking about aluminum prices going past some of the records they’ve already set. If you’re looking to gamble a little bit, you might want to hold onto some high grades of aluminum as we do expect the markets to increase in the second half of this year, if not sooner.

Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – SELL

  • Aluminum – SELL

  • Brass – SELL

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – SELL

Wow, copper prices have stabilized over the last two weeks. We are happy to see other increases in different spectrums. We have seen stainless steel and aluminum markets strengthening, with many regular 304 Stainless numbers being reported in the high $0.60 range even into the low $0.80 range for different regions. These prices also affect things like aluminum, where the markets are up even more for higher grades of aluminum but not for mixed grades like sheet aluminum. Sheet and cast aluminum are generally going to be priced on the lower side of things as they are melting pots of different qualities of aluminum put together.

Copper has indeed remained strong, but one of the things that we’re looking out for right now is how copper will react to the oil markets approaching $100 per barrel. We may see copper prices by $0.20-$0.30 per pound but also may see a quick release of that increase so please pay attention to the updates that we send out during the week through the app.

Non-Ferrous Price Chart of the Week


Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • #1 Steel – SELL

  • Shreddable Steel – SELL

  • Light Iron – SELL

  • Cast Iron – SELL

  • Complete Car – SELL

Back-to-back-to-back weeks we have seen steel prices increasing a total of around $30 per ton. We have seen these markets rising to a level that we have not seen since late 2021. Even with the price of oil creeping up, we are continuing to see these markets stay strong on steel. We could continue to see the demands increase over the coming weeks. These markets are going to continue to move into positive ground. We may even see average prices for light iron approaching $250 per ton by the end of the summer.

Ferrous Price Chart of the Week

Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters –  SELL

With palladium and platinum staying at intense levels we are happy to see the markets having about a 5 to 7% increase on those two metals in the last few weeks. The start of the previous three months looks to be rhodium which has seen an increase of around 45% since bottoming out a few months ago. This has led to more catalytic converter prices reaching a national average is close to $188 per cat. While not the record highs, these numbers are only slightly off the highs that we saw last May and June 2021.

With tensions continuing between Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of Europe, we may well see more price increases on the catalytic converter markets as many of these metals are not only refined but needed. They may be slow down due to these tensions.

Other Metal Markets

We’ve been focusing on many of the new-age batteries that are coming out into the market, both for electric vehicles and things like hand tools. These markets have metals that have a very high value but also have substantial problems when it comes to recycling.

Many of these medals are very difficult to recycle and have proven to be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to the recycling industry reacting to the electric vehicle markets.

Moving forward, we may see negative values assigned to many of these batteries and if you’re starting to look at scrapping old vehicles that are electric or even hybrid, you might want to think twice as the battery could cost you more money to get rid of than the car was worth. If you’re thinking of throwing these batteries away, please think twice as we have seen large problems occurring throughout the world. The most recent event is the ship in the Atlantic that’s burning due to many electric vehicle batteries catching on fire during transit and lighting up the entire area.

These will become long-term problems that will not be quickly solved, and the recycling industry is working on solutions, but it will take a long time for things to develop and for an answer.

Thank You.

We have a couple of videos and podcasts that feature some interviews with family inside the Scrap business and with Scrappers. If you’re looking to be featured, interviewed, or even interview any of the people at iScrap, let us know so we can get it together.

– Tom


Other Valuable Resources 

Ready To Scrap Your Car?