This Week’s Scrap Metal Prices & Market News

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Weak Copper Prices & Energy Affecting Scrap

Also, Inside Calm Steel Scrap Prices

Report Date: 9/28/22

Once a month, we will bring in Marc Champagne to help go over energy outlooks and how they will affect the scrap markets. We are excited to do this and to hear what your thoughts are.

With things changing year after year, we are watching these markets and changing market conditions for things like renewable energy, and with more clean energy initiatives, we may see short-term problems but long-term solutions coming.

Oil & Gas – Oil supply shock looming?

  • OPEC’s production shortfall last month reached 3.58 million BPD—a figure equal to some 3.5 percent of global demand—and the United States continued to sell oil from its strategic petroleum reserve. 
  • Russia’s oil exports could fall by some 2.4 million BPD after the EU embargo in December, and an oil shortage becomes more or less unavoidable. 
  • Energy Information Administration said the inventory level at the SPR had declined by another 7 million barrels in the week to September 16, meaning the total was 427 million barrels. And this number was the lowest SPR inventory level since 1984. It is also the first time there is less oil in the SPR than in commercial storage.
  • Perhaps worse is that the administration has no plans to replenish the SPR anytime soon. A supply shock is coming to Europe if the U.S. is not there to help. Add to this the moderate growth in U.S. oil production and statements by industry executives that the U.S. won’t be able to bail Europe out with oil or gas, and the situation becomes quite bleak.

Is Electric Vehicle growth sustainable?

  • On the EV front, the IEA said global sales had doubled in 2021 to represent nearly 9% of the car market. Looking forward, 2022 was “expected to see another all-time high for electric vehicle sales, lifting them to 13% of total light-duty vehicle sales globally.”
  • The IEA has previously stated that electric vehicle sales will hit 6.6 million in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, EV sales came to 2 million, a 75% increase compared to the first three months of 2021.
  • More than 300 new mines will be needed globally to meet the growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, according to a new forecast from a mining analyst.
  • Many experts believe that a complete transition to electric vehicles will require as much as 1.25 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. Adding 30% more capacity in the next 20 years is thought to be feasible in light of past increases. That increased capacity is expected to come from renewable sources, including solar and wind power.
  • Vehicle to Grid Technology: Here’s how it works: You arrive home with your EV’s battery still at 70% capacity. You plug it in, but it doesn’t start charging immediately due to high demand on the grid. Instead, power flows from your car to power your house and those around it until demand slackens. Then the power flow is reversed, and your EV charges fully overnight.

Energy Transition

  • EVs may be a bright spot, but other areas of the energy transition are not on track include improving the energy efficiency of building designs, developing clean and efficient district heating, phasing out coal-fired power generation, eliminating methane flaring, shifting aviation and shipping to cleaner fuels, and making cement, chemical and steel production cleaner.

Non-Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • Copper – HOLD

  • Aluminum – HOLD

  • Brass – SELL

  • Copper Wire – SELL

  • Stainless Steel – SELL

SEE ALL PRICES

The short-term outlook on copper prices is not going to be very strong. We’ve seen way too much economic decline with things like the interest rate and fears of worldwide recessions to be optimistic.

If you want to extend past this year, you might be able to start to see an increase in the second half of next year of substantial pricing, but overall we don’t see large increases happening except for a couple of $.10-$.15 jumps that could be quickly negated. There will be enough recessionary talks to scare people into having aggressive stances on any type of pricing for the next few months.

Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices

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Ferrous Prices & Market Status

  • #1 Steel – HOLD

  • Shreddable Steel – SELL

  • Light Iron – SELL

  • Cast Iron – HOLD

  • Complete Car – HOLD

SEE ALL PRICES

Steel prices have been relatively calm over the last week and a half. What we see coming doesn’t look especially optimistic either, but we see prices stabilizing throughout the end of this year. 

Steel prices hit in the last few months, with many saying that the markets will not recover for the foreseeable future. 

Ferrous Scrap Prices

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Catalytic Converter Prices & Market Status

  • Catalytic Converters – SELL

SEE ALL PRICES

These markets have followed most other markets in a negative trend downwards in the last few weeks. When you have large declines happening, you’re generally going to have that consistent in most markets overall.

We have seen a slight resurgence in palladium prices, but overall these prices could be a little lower for the rest of the year. As more automakers continue to press higher gas mileage, you will see more precious metals going into the catalytic converters, leading to increased pricing and recovery.

10-Day Price Lock for Catalytic Converters

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For a price lock of 10 days, please contact RRCats.com Team to get a better idea of catalytic converter markets and free shipping on OEM cats.

Other Metal Markets: Aluminum

Aluminum prices are set to continue their increase going into the rest of this year and next year. With more automakers and renewable energy consumers needing the product, we see large increased demand for aluminum in all spaces. This could continue for the foreseeable future, with aluminum prices increasing for the rest of this year or staying stagnant but starting to increase next year.

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