What’s Going On With Scrap Metal Prices?

Well the markets seem to be doing it again…here we are in the Summer of 2016 and there seems to be little to no stability in the markets and how they are performing. The prices on copper, steel, and aluminum have been relatively low (in terms of the last few years) comparing to the last few years, but they really can improve at the drop of a hat it seems.

What Is Happening With Steel Scrap Prices?

At the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 we saw the steel prices so low that scrap yards stopped paying for the metal and were only taking the metal for nothing…that was weird to see. But then we had a nice recovery and we saw many prices jumping into the mid $100 range per ton, a level that allowed people to make money on steel. But then we saw a quick adjustment with the prices dropped $50 per ton over a 4-5 week stretch in the middle of the summer of 2016 and down the prices went again.

2015-2016 Steel Scrap Prices

There are so many reasons (many of which we have talked about here) that scrap prices are affected, but knowing what, how and why will drastically change how things go. Knowing that you can go online to yard pages on the iScrap App’s homepage and find yards prices or other prices in the area makes it much easier to figure out the prices that you are looking for.

Key Factors On Worrying About Scrap Prices

Here are some of the key items that are making people so concerned in the markets.

  • Oil Prices – With the price of oil so much lower, we have to be aware that this will impact the scrap prices. Oil prices being high means that the metal transportation will be more money…thus leading to higher pricing. So when the oil prices are lower…then the scrap prices are going to be going down because they generally will cost less money to transport as well as refine.
  • Politics – We all love politics don’t we? Well…you shouldn’t when it comes to scrap prices. Major elections will affect the short-term pricing because it will take a long time to really get new parties into place and people are generally a little scared about how new parties will handle economic policies.
  • World Demand – How the world is growing will largely impact how the scrap prices go. Back in the mid 2000’s one example of growth is China. We talked about Shanghai in an article showing how many buildings went up…and this is very indicative of how the world supply went up.

All of these factors and hundreds more go into the scrap prices. It is not easy…it is no longer predictable like it was in the 1980’s and 1990’s….and because of that you need to constantly check on the prices and where the market is.

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