Where Are Scrap Prices Headed? – 2/17/21


9. Year. Highs.

Brrrr (says most of the country)!

Who would’ve believed one year ago that we would’ve had copper prices that bottomed out with multiple-year lows and then within one year had copper prices jump to nine-year highs?!? We have seen the markets continue to rally and surpass the levels that we saw a few weeks ago before the slight copper pulled back in the market. For those of you that track the Copper prices online, there’s a chance they had four dollars per pound on a trading level for the first time in 10 years.

To answer your next question of whether or not you should hold or sell your copper both answers are correct right now and we’ll talk about that later on. With the deep freeze and weather conditions across the United States and in places that are not used to the extreme cold weather, we have seen oil and gas prices increasing due to the frozen shut down in many areas. This is going to affect some of the copper prices but more of the oil prices which in turn will hurt in the coming weeks.

Quick Numbers

  • 14% –Platinum prices are up 14% YTD (year-to-date) and at six year highs.
  • 24%- Gold surged 24% in 2020 but is down 3% in 2021.
  • 2012 – Copper has hit its highest prices since 2012.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

This week we are spotlighting a post that iScrapper Ryan A. posted about learning about laborers do at scrap yards. This is one of the most answer questions we have seen lately and the consensus is…what DON’T they do at scrap yards?!?! Click to see the comments and post your own!


Non-Ferrous Market News

We’ve talked about this in the past few weeks but we are paying very close attention to the aluminum markets which have continued to rally the first few weeks of the month to continue the overall rally that we have seen over the last four months climbing to multi-year highs. These increased aluminum prices look very promising as we have seen average prices for aluminum increasing for even the lowest grades recently. As more and more money is injected into the economy for different stimulus plans, we are also looking at the infrastructure that they’re talking about doing an overhaul to which could continue to promote these metal prices moving forward.

Copper has been steadily rising with the markets aggressively moving in an upward trend, even with the slight pullback that we saw early today. Overall, these markets have recovered by 75%  from the lows that we saw back in March 2020. Those are numbers that we never would’ve expected to see, but are happy that they are not only here but have stabilized over that time. 

Moving into the next few weeks, we fully expect the markets to continue to show positive signs, as we have seen more pieces of news coming out not only about vaccines but also about manufacturing and increased market supply with large decreases in supply volume.


Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (2/10 – 2/16):




Syracuse, NY Sealed Units $0.24 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.35 / lb
Pinellas Park, FL Aluminum Cans $0.42 / lb
Scranton, PA #1 Copper Tubing $3.11 / lb
Dallas, TX #2 Copper Tubing $3.07 / lb
Glen Burnie, MD Aluminum Siding $0.40 / lb
Hartly, DE Clean ACR $1.25 / lb
Barstow, CA Brass Shells $1.15 / lb
Charlotte, NC Aluminum Rims $8.00 /ea
Shawnee, OK Insulated Copper Wire $0.70 / lb
Dafter, MI Stainless Steel $0.42 / lb
Winnipeg, Manitoba* Yellow Brass $2.20 /lb

Ferrous Market News

With oil prices increasing and the large increase in the large debt decrease in steel prices through the first seven weeks of this year, we have seen a market that is still in stable condition. We have seen slight increases over the last few weeks and with the oil supplies seeming to go back to regular levels after the large decreases that we saw during 2020, we could continue to see these markets stabilize and strengthen going into the rest of 2021.

Over the last week, we have seen steel prices rise about seven dollars per ton but one thing that we’re very interested in tracking is going to be the iron ore pricing and how it correlates with the coal market throughout the world. With coal being phased out from so many power generating operations, we have still seen a massive demand and use for coal in the steel manufacturing industry with few long-term environmentally friendly sustainable options out there.

While multiple countries have talked and have started researching and testing different ways of melting iron ore and creating massive heat inside of the furnaces needed to create new steel, we have not seen enough of an overall increase in technology to phase out coal inside of steel fabrication operations.


Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (2/10 – 2/16):




Mays Landing, NJ  Light Iron $100 /ton
Bradford, PA Rotors $280 /ton
Loves Park, IL #1 Prepared $220 /ton
Euclid, OH Shreddable Steel $0.10 /lb
Columbus, IN Light Iron $0.08 /lb
Farmingdale, NY #1 Prepared Steel $11.00 /CW
Pittsfield. MA Cast Iron $225 /ton
Jacksonville, FL Shreddable Steel $0.07 /lb
Flagstaff, AZ Light Iron $140 /ton
Inver Grove Heights, MN UPPD $185 /ton
Saginaw, MI Complete Cars $155 /ton

Other Metal Markets

Lead prices have continued to stay at relatively stable levels but have not enjoyed the increased demand or prices that we have seen out of copper, aluminum, and iron products. One reason that many people are talking about the lower lead prices and lower car battery prices is due to the overall push to electric vehicles and the sense that moving forward lead-acid batteries will be phased out over the next 20 to 40 years creating a large oversupply of lead.

Catalytic Converter Market News



With the overall prices of catalytic converter‘s remaining at extremely strong levels even with fluctuations over the last three weeks, we have still been very pleased with how the markets have reacted. Overall, the markets have shown really nice averages and we are happy to see how the prices have continued to climb over the last few weeks and months. With precious metal prices not only stabilizing after large increases, we are seeing smaller increases since the beginning of 2020 that have continued to propel the catalytic converter recycling market.

The team at RRCats.com has continued to buy catalytic converters and provide free shipping labels for most customers and very fair market prices. If you were looking to learn more about the scrap catalytic converter prices and get a quote you can always go to www.RRCats.com and give the team the opportunity to quote and buy your catalytic converters.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (2/10 – 2/16):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $500/@
GD3 $735/@
JSH62 $391 / @
12606389 $391 /@
25130440 $331/ @
Small Foreign $136/ @
Regular Domestic $221/ @


Thank You.

Looking for different market news? Let us know and we will be able to add your ideas to our weekly reports to go over. Scrappppp ya later!

– Tom

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