The Only Metal Going Up Is Gold, For Now – 6/12/19


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It seems like everyone is wondering about what’s going on with the copper market and instead of talking about it more (we will).  First, we wanted to talk about some of the other factors that are really contributing. The entire world seems to be talking about tariffs or trade wars or some type of instability in government. There’s nothing that’s really new here as other countries, companies, and individuals are always looking to increase their company’s worth and their countries worth.

Suggested Reading: What Are Metal Tariffs & How Do They Affect Scrap?

The difference recently is how everyone seems to be working, or should we say not working together. Between the tariffs going back-and-forth over the last year with the Chinese, new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, and thousands of others news stories; we’ve been watching, listening, and trying to put a plan together. We’ll try to have that plan unfold while talking about scrap metal.

Quick Numbers

  • 3 Hours & 43 Minutes – Time you spend on your phone each day (real stat)
  • 60%Facebook and Google will capture nearly 60% of all U.S. digital ad spend in 2019, per eMarketer
  • 200 Million – FedEx is prepping for e-commerce to double to 100 million packages per day in the U.S. by 2026

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Recently one of our Scrappers from our Facebook Group reached into the vault for this gem. Just a simple how-to and 101-guide for all you new scrappers out there! :) Check it out and share it on Facebook here.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper started to show small signs of life this week as the trade dispute with Mexico was quickly resolved and the tariffs were avoided. With that $0.05-$0.06 jump in copper, we started to get optimistic but as news came out that the US is in no rush to make a deal with Chinese, those prices came back down. It has been confirmed that President Trump will meet with the Chinese president in two weeks, but we don’t know what to expect; at least it has not been postponed.

We also have heard that the Chinese are looking to improve their country’s infrastructure which is also something the US is talking about and that will show a higher demand for copper, aluminum, and other metals but as these trade disputes continue, we are not sure how the pricing is going to work out.

Until this meeting takes place we don’t see copper moving more than $0.02-$0.03 up or down and it looks like we will be in a holding pattern until then.  We have told multiple people that we think the meeting could go well, but it also seems like each countries president is digging their heels in more and more and one advantage that the Chinese have is that the presidential term does not have a limit.  Many have talked about the Chinese possibly waiting for the 2020 election to take place to see if President Trump will be around for another four years imposing tariffs on them.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/5 – 6/11):




Yorktown, VA Sealed Units $0.07 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.30 / lb
Boise, ID Aluminum Cans $0.25 / lb
Norfolk, NE ACR $0.85 / lb
Sikeston, MO Car/Truck Batteries $0.15 / lb
San Jose, CA Insulated Copper Cable $0.75 / lb
Brighton, IL Electric Motors (Copper) $0.07 / lb
Texarkana, AR #1 Copper Tubing $1.75 / lb
Sparks, NV Cast Aluminum $0.40 / lb
Stockertown, PA #2 Copper Tubing $2.00 / lb
Washington, MO Yellow Brass $1.30 / lb
North Bay, Ontario* Lead Batteries $0.20 / lb

Ferrous Market News

The iron market has been very weak with demand for heavy melt and prepared material very low. As the summer starts we’re hoping to see a rise after the last two months but it doesn’t seem to look like it’s happening soon. Light iron and most other grades of steel have continued to be depressed and unfortunately many peoples attitudes are the same way. 

With most commodities in a real flux right now there are few hard answers, other than knowing we are in a wait and see mode.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (6/5 – 6/11):




Norfolk, NE Shreddable Steel $50 /ton
Brighton, IL Tin $0.055 /lb
Greenbay, WI Sheet Iron $80 /ton
Culpeper, VA Light Iron $70 /ton
Webb City, MO #2 HMS $118 /ton
South Beloit, IL Light Iron $75 /ton
Yorktown, VA #1 Heavy Melting Steel $120 /ton
Lebanon, MO Tin $75 /ton

Other Markets

We saw the price of gold increased dramatically with the threat of tariffs with Mexico and gold jumped $50 an ounce. We have seen the prices start to come down as the tariffs and trade dispute was averted.

Thank You.

The next two weeks will be a very tense couple of weeks as we are watching and waiting anxiously for the meeting between the Chinese and the United States. We will continue to update you and share as much information as we can until everything is ready.

– Tom

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*Canadian Dollar