This Week’s Scrap Metal Prices & Market News

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Are Aluminum Scrap Prices Improving?

ALSO: Stainless Steel Has An Upside for Holding

Report Date: 12/7/22

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, Scrappers!

Over the last week, not much has changed regarding the markets, as things have become collectively flat on the copper side of things.

Going into Christmas, we do not expect to see a jump in copper more than we already have over the last few weeks.

Many of the comments online continue to talk about waiting for copper to hit $4.00: don’t forget getting $4.00 per lb. for copper would mean that copper would have to climb at least $0.50-$0.60 above where it is, which does not seem realistic, given today’s market. 

Steel prices saw a nice $20-$30 increase per ton, which was a welcome sign considering September, October, and November showed mostly down markets.

Going into the holidays, we want to mention that one of our favorite charities is St. Jude Children’s Hospital, if you’re ever looking for a good cause to donate to that one that we recommend it.

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Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – SELL

  • Aluminum – HOLD

  • Brass – SELL

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – HOLD


Are Aluminum Prices Getting Stronger?

Aluminum prices have strengthened by 4 to 6% over the last few weeks. That may not seem like a lot, but a lot of the market movements are going up and down 2 to 3%, sometimes daily. Aluminum prices have stabilized and increased, showing further signs of demand. One of the things that offset positive news is some of the layoffs across large companies. 

These large companies are some of the biggest buyers of metals like aluminum and copper. If they see pullbacks starting to happen, we could see a pullback in the commodities market in the next 3 to 6 months if we hit the recessionary stride they are talking about. 

Copper Prices Are Still Strong

Copper prices have significantly increased, and we mentioned that last week. Overall, these markets still are on a downward slide compared to the beginning of the year but are in a really strong position with everything else going on, including oil prices that have been dipping down.

We’ve mentioned this in the opener, but for copper to hit $4.00 per pound at the scrap yards scales, we would need to see an increase of $0.60 per pound in trading prices, which does not seem realistic. We would have to be either in a very short supply or a very, very high demand, which is not what we’re seeing predicted by multiple economists right now. That means that many of the prices we are seeing will be the same (or lower) for at least the next 6 to 12 months. 

Tune in a few weeks so we can give her economic forecast and recap going into 2023. Make sure you’re subscribed to YouTube.

Suggested Reading: 33 Holiday Gift Ideas for Scrappers

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 Prices = Blah.

With steel prices having a nice little bump, we also got to see the price of gas go down, as well as oil prices hitting close to 2022 lows.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

One of the reasons we have seen oil prices going down is mainly due to a lack of demand, which is not a positive sign. While no one wants to pay a lot of money at the pump, prices like diesel have to continue to increase and have kept the steel price down over the last few months.

Don’t forget that a lot of steel is exported, and the cargo ships to carry these materials overseas are powered by diesel, and other fuels, which have increased costs. 

A few weeks from now, we will talk about the markets going into 2023 and hopefully shed a little light on how we got here and where we will be going with the market. Make sure you’re subscribed to YouTube.

Suggested Reading: Best Work Gloves For the Winter

Ferrous Scrap Prices

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Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters – SELL


It’s A Good Time To Sell Cats

The average price for a catalytic converter over the last week has continued to hover in the $150-$160 per OEM cat mark. These levels of precious metals that go into the catalytic converter have not changed more than a 1-2% over the last week. That’s a good sign for stability, and as automakers start to get caught up to the demand, they’ve seen we hope to see some of these prices increasing over the next few months.

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Other Materials: Nickel & Lithium Ion Scrap Prices

Nickel prices are now trading between $27k-28k per ton. This should equate to a much higher price per pound on stainless steel, but it continues to be the opposite effect. We generally don’t advise holding on to many materials right now, but stainless steel might be one of the highest upsides that you can see. We expect these prices to adjust in the first half of next year, and the adjustment could be up to $.15-$.20 additional per pound.

Lithium has become one of the most sought-after metals in the entire world due to the significant EV push throughout the US and other parts of the world. Lithium prices have continued to skyrocket, leading battery manufacturers to look for other alternatives in the past, such as iron-based rechargeable batteries. The demand for medals does not look to be decreasing in any way, shape, or shape or form.

One of the problems is that many scrap yards do not know and are not being taught how to handle many of these new batteries properly. Please ask your scrap yard if they have a recycling program that you could learn about. 

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