This Week’s Scrap Metal Prices & Market News




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Don’t Expect Much From Copper

ALSO: China’s COVID Policy Is Causing Protests

Report Date: 11/30/22

Happy Day Scrappers!

We hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday, and we’re thankful for some of the copper prices increasing over the last few weeks.

We Continue To See Solid Prices

While we have seen a bit of a slowdown overall in the market, we have seen solid numbers, especially when comparing two things, like the stock market in different oil markets.

One of the biggest things we’ve been paying attention to is the problems coming out of China, with many people pushing back against the government. Their “Zero COVID” policies have created supply chain problems, which may end up hurting commodities if the pushbacks continue as fewer commodities would be used over the next few weeks and months.

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Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – SELL

  • Aluminum – SELL

  • Brass – SELL

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – HOLD


Could Copper Demand Be Doubled by 2050?

We read an article this week about the power of copper and how the market may still be getting ready to go higher. This article discusses the massive electricity demand, with global electricity consumption potentially doubling by 2050.

With the electric and solar push across the world, we may continue to see copper prices increase and demand increase over the next few years. While this is more of a big-picture view, this does give us an insight into where the copper markets could be headed, and we may be at or near the bottom of the market for the foreseeable future.

Copper Is Not Going Anywhere

For the rest of 2022, we haven’t heard about any increase in the copper markets. The small run-up that we had a few weeks ago seems to be short-lived, while there may be one more potential run-up if the Chinese open up their COVID restrictions a little bit, but as we write this, nothing has happened yet.

That’s not to say that we cannot see a quick run-up. Still, we don’t see a significant jump happening to go into the Christmas season, especially going into January, where we’ll have to wait and see what type of increased demand we have worldwide.

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Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices

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Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • #1 Steel – SELL

  • Shreddable Steel – SELL

  • Light Iron – SELL

  • Cast Iron – SELL

  • Complete Car – SELL


Steel Is Still Down

With steel prices much lower than they were one year ago, we are starting to see the market show some real weakness industrywide. Many steel manufacturers have seen a significant decrease in their overall forecasts.

New Steel Prices Have Dropped 63%

In September 2021, new steel material prices were over $2,000 per ton. Today those prices are at $740 per ton, which is about a 63% drop. While we thought earlier this year that the Ukrainian conflict would help the steel prices, that was short-lived as much of the Russian steel found homes in other countries worldwide. 

Steel Could Drop Even More – SELL Now!

In 2021 when worldwide demand for all commodities continued to spike after COVID, we saw an increase in items like iron and steel products. Now, as we see, the price is much lower, as well as increased interest rates and a lack of demand due to the recession that we are either in or the slowdown that we are feeling, we have seen the steel prices dropping even more.

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Ferrous Scrap Prices

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Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters – SELL


Catalytic Converter National Average Is Up!

While we have seen a pullback in some catalytic converter prices, we still see a very strong national average position. Today’s average is around $155 per cat, while the markets have slightly declined over the last few days. It has not been that bad, considering last week’s holidays and the downward pressure on the markets. Overall, we have seen good growth in the markets and expect to see more stability throughout the end of this year. 

PGM Prices Are Lower Than 2021

One thing that we did look at was some of the prices, historically, for platinum, palladium, and rhodium. All of these markets have lower averages than 2021, but the averages have not decreased to the levels that iron has decreased this year. While that may not be a perfect analogy, it does illustrate the overall stability and potential growth for the markets going into 2022. We continue to advise scrappers to sell their catalytic converters as they get them in, and having a 10-day price lock through will only help. 

10-Day Price Lock for Catalytic Converters

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For a price lock of 10 days, don’t hesitate to contact Team to get a better idea of catalytic converter markets and free shipping on OEM cats.

Other Materials: Aluminum & Brass

Aluminum has stayed steady overall, and we expect these markets to show more strength in 2023. Over the next few weeks, as we compile our 2023 preview, we will update you on where the markets are and where we think the markets will go.

Brass prices and insulated wire prices have fallen slightly over the last two weeks, which has a lot to do with the copper prices decreasing over that time. Overall, the markets have been in a good spot, and we do hope to see a further uptick in January but probably not for the balance of this year.

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