We Have A Lot To Talk About – 1/23/19

Hey iScrappers!!!

We hope that you have been enjoying the winter and we can’t believe that we are already almost through the first month of the year. With the holidays far enough behind us, we’re now starting to see the working force going back into full gear. There is a lot of information and news coming from the trade markets.

From trade talks with China, two problems with OPEC, and all types of overseas political news we continue to watch, learn and react as well as we possibly can to what the markets are throwing at us. 

It seems like forever ago that last June in 2017 we saw 4-year high copper prices. But now we look at a market that is waiting for some sign of good news from the trade talks with the Chinese. We continue to hear strong job report numbers as well as other information that goes into how the commodity markets react, and we’re still trying to sort it all out.

Quick Numbers

  • 37 Days – Until the March 1st date of tariff talks have left.
  • 15 – Number of OPEC Members that are reducing oil output.
  • $1.94 – National average reported prices for BB /#1T /#2 /#3 all averaged out. 
  • $2.27 per gallon – US Average price per gallon for Unleaded Gas at the pump.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Some scrappers ask and wonder how people go from small-time scrap picking to larger hauling- we think that Josh S. shows how to get it done well. Click to see the post and others reactions.



Non-Ferrous Market News

In the last week we have seen copper prices dropped about $0.06/lb in trading, and overall $0.03/lb in the national scrap reported price market. What does this mean for the rest of the month and the rest of this quarter? Great question that we’re still looking into and trying to figure out by reading more and more and talking to more industry educated people.

Some key points we’ve started to see are as follows; the aluminum and the stainless steel markets continue to be weak with very little overseas exporting going on compared to the last 2 years. These markets have been hurt by the tariffs, while local American aluminum producers have seen profits increase due to more metal staying in the country and prices being driven down on scrap.

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

Copper price largely hinges on trade talks with the Chinese and it seems that every time we hear good news we see a $0.05 jump in prices. When we see a sign of bad news the market falls that same $0.05. We have heard that lower level Chinese and US negotiators have had a little headway the last few days. While they wait to have larger trade talks between the more prominent and larger US negotiators. 

We do not expect to see the market having any type of a drastic increase for the rest of the month. We are going to wait until the month of February leading up to the March 1st deadline to get a trade deal done. If a trade deal is not done or there is no real progress, expect to see a little more chaos in the non-ferrous and ferrous markets.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/16- 1/22):




Milwaukee, WI AL Extrusion $0.3 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.37 / lb
St. Paul, MN Lead Batteries $0.20 / lb
Kalamazoo, MI #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.00 / lb
Albuquerque, NM Ballasts $0.08 / lb
Wichita Falls, TX Brass Pipe $1.46 / lb
Snohomish, WA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.10 / lb
Cleveland, OH Old Sheet Aluminum $0.20 / lb
Perry, FL #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.20 / lb
Wadena, MN Aluminum Siding $0.30 / lb
Redding, CA #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.50 / lb
Owensboro, KY Aluminum Radiators $0.20 / lb
Oceanside, NY Computer Wire $0.25 / lb

Ferrous Market News

With news from the Middle East that the OPEC countries will continue to pull back on their oil production, we have started to see the price of gas and oil increasing. This will have a direct effect on the steel market for the next few months.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

We have seen the steel prices average out over the last week with very little change + or – $5 per ton. While that may not be the news that you want to hear, it’s better than some of the negative market news stories that we have been talking about over the last month or so. Different grades of steel had been hit in different ways with light iron been one of the most unaffected overall metals when compared to some of the heavier grades of steel.

We have started to see and hear different people holding onto their have your grades of steel such as Busheling, P & S, and heavy melt steel. If you’re one of these people, let us know on our Facebook group.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/16- 1/22):




Cleveland, OH Sheet Iron $110 /ton
Cleburne, TX Shreddable Steel $110 /ton
Salisbury, NC Light Iron $95 /ton
Tahlequah, OK Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Burlington, Ontario* Light Iron $100 /ton
Norfolk, VA Shreddable Steel $80 /ton
Union Furnace, OH Shreddable Steel $140 /ton
Blue Island, IL Light Iron $135 /ton
Carter Lake, IA #1 Steel $150 /ton
South Beloit, IL Sheet Iron $75 /ton
Penrose, CO #1 Steel $80 /ton
Green Bay, WI Unprepared Cast Iron $200 /ton
Millville, NJ Light Iron $0.04 /lb

Other Markets

Gold prices have pulled back about per ounce over the last few weeks but otherwise have been still very strong. The stock market has started off to a very strong start in January before the drop that we saw yesterday, but we did see some of the market pullback during trading early this morning. We hope that some of the problems with the stock market will settle itself out over the next few weeks. A lot of this hinges on different earnings reports, as well as the partial government shut down.

Thank You.

We love hearing from you and your different ideas, stories, and thoughts on what you think the market is doing and how it will be affected. Please let us know if there’s anything else that we can get over to you. Scrap you later!

– Tom

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