Aluminum Is Going Up Again, Copper Steady – 3/10/21


Eyes Open!

With more money being thrown around than ever before in the world right now, it’s crazy to see what’s going on with pricing and commodities and vaccinations and everything else. With so much going on we have had our head on a constant swivel listening for more information and pushing for more market news to be able to share with you. Soon, our new podcast is coming out and we would love to hear about topics that you want us to talk about, so we can share as much information with you as possible. Email us today at to share those topics. 


Week over week, we have seen the market in a relatively flat line and have not seen copper moving too much overall. We are hopeful that copper has found a nice floor around the $4.00 per pound trading mark online. This would leave a nice increase in the markets and will help the stability that we have not seen over the last few weeks. When we have talked over the years about markets jumping up and jumping down it always is difficult to really gauge where the markets are overall.

Having a steady and stable market will make it much easier for scrap yards to price things out, as well as for everyone to know what the scrap prices are.

Quick Numbers

  • $4.03 – Copper has stabilized at a trading level over $4.00 per lb. 
  • $30 per ton –Steel prices have increased over $30 per ton over the last two weeks combined.
  • $1,700Gold has returned to the $1700 per ounce level after being much further below for weeks. 

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

We had a special request from a group member to poll what everyone considered their “unicorn” price to be for the copper trading price.  Since 2008, scrappers have been talking about copper hitting $4/lb. for trading prices. We thought it would be an interesting poll to ask considering we just hit the $4 mark last month. Click below for results.

Around 50% of Scrapper Think Copper Will Hit $5.00 By September

Following the last poll, we asked group members to give their feedback on when, or if, they thought copper was going to hit $5/lb. Around 50% of those who answered said they think copper will hit $5/lb. by September 2021. About 35% of pollers think that it will hit by the end of 2021. A small portion of pollers thinks that it may never hit, while a select few think it might hit by next month. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

???? Aluminum Still Climbing

Aluminum prices have been on a tear lately and have increased upwards of two-year highs. We love seeing prices jumping like this because it creates more opportunities and a higher return for all of the hard work that you always put in with your scrap. Now we have to see what happens in the coming months, as many people have brought up what could be happening with foreign trade policy and we have not seen much news coming out of the White House since the new administration started. 

➡️ Copper Finds It’s Steady Pace

Copper, however, has continued to have steady strong prices that have resulted in scrappers making more money for their hard work than anticipated. This is always a welcome sign and one that we hope to see for the rest of 2021. With overall market supply being less than ideal, we have seen more brokerage firms looking for metal to come in as it has been hard to come by which could lead to further price increases, but this is not the primary thing that we have in focus right now.

???????? What Has China Been Up To?

One country that we have not mentioned has been China over the last few weeks. We have not heard any trade talks or positive market news coming out since the Chinese returned from their lunar new year and we are waiting to see what happens in the coming weeks and months. We have heard that the trade deficit has only grown throughout this pandemic with the Chinese and that means that we could have a much stronger reliance on them moving forward and that could increase commodity prices, but also increase the cost of living as well as many consumer goods.

Why Are Copper Prices Increasing Right Now?

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/03 – 03/09):




Sterling Heights, MI

#1 Copper Tubing 

$3.05 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.50 / lb
Jacksonville, FL Brass $1.90 / lb
Bradford, PA Lead Batteries $0.17 / lb
Hartly, DE Aluminum Siding $0.35 / lb
Beltsville, MD Insulated Copper Wire $1.70 / lb
Dewey, AZ Compressors $0.15 / lb
Davenport, IA Brass Shells  $2.20 / lb
Concord, NC Aluminum Cans $0.22 /lb
Salyersville, KY #2 Copper $2.85 / lb
Scranton, PA Starters/Alternators  $0.30 / lb
Fort Worth, TX Cast Aluminum $0.28 /lb

Ferrous Market News

Steel Prices have almost returned to the levels that we saw back in January and early February before the market had a mini dropdown. Now we are looking to see if these increases will hold on as we have now seen $30 per ton added to the steel market over the last few weeks. With this price increase, we have seen scrap yards playing it safe to be sure prices don’t drop out and have started to see prices increasing throughout the country.

With oil prices continuing to increase, we are watching these markets to see how they are going to affect the steel prices over the next few weeks. Generally, there is a delay in prices changing versus oil prices increasing and we are waiting to see what the change will bring and what it will be.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (03/03 – 03/09):




Jackson, MI Light Iron $200 /ton
Tampa, FL Scrap Iron $0.085 /lb
Hancock, MD Shreddable Steel $179 /ton
Grove, IA Car w/ Tires $175 /ton
Commerce City, CO Unprepared P&S $145 /ton
Haddon Township, NJ Light Iron $0.09 /lb
Harrisburg, PA Tin $135 /ton
Radcliff, KY Automobiles $160 /ton
Jacksonville, FL Shreddable Steel $0.07 /lb
Indianapolis, IL #1 Steel $170 /ton
North Bay, Ontario* #1 Heavy Melting Steel $260 /ton

Other Metal Markets

One of the biggest topics that we have read about and heard about is the lithium market. These markets have become increasingly important as more and more vehicle manufacturers are moving towards electric cars. As a result of the cars becoming electrified, we will need more precious metals such as lithium to produce more batteries.

One of the biggest problems with this is that the recycling markets, while they are in place, they have not been properly set up to excel with the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

Catalytic Converter Market News



Getting paid what you are quoted is always something that is taken for granted except when you work with the team at By quoting and holding prices for seven business days, we have been able to see more people making more money with their catalytic converters, and knowing that they have a stable price has made it much easier to sell things.

Over the last week, we saw rhodium prices hitting all-time record highs but then pulling back about 7% in the last few days. Generally, the trend that we have seen over the last few months is that when markets have large increases they have been having fast decreases at the same time. Examples could be seen in gold and copper, as well as rhodium over the last six months.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (03/03-03/09):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $500/@
GD3 $800/@
JSH62 $439/ @
12606389 $417 /@
25130440 $395/ @
Small Foreign $147/ @
Regular Domestic $231/ @


Thank You.

Finding a resource that tells you how things are and not how things could be is always difficult. The team here at iScrap is looking to do just that by raising awareness of market prices, market movements, and giving you tools to help you make more money with your scrap. Overall, we watch the markets both on a micro and a macro level to figure out where they are and how we can make them work for you in a better way.

Let us know if there’s more information that you’re looking for us to share and we will make sure to discuss that in the coming weeks and months.

– Tom

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