Aluminum Prices Finally Seem Stable – 12/16/20


All prices are up!

What better way to start an article or a conversation with scrappers than talking about all prices being up in so many markets. With steel prices going up to $60-$70 per ton since the beginning of October and copper prices at seven-year highs sometimes it’s nice to just pause and be thankful for things that we have hoped for so long. We try to look at the markets every single day and figure out why such increases have happened and it all leads to positive economic recovery and more creation in the manufacturing industry.

It’s always interesting to learn about how different industries react and we have been doing that and will share some of our thoughts on each market coming up.

Quick Numbers

  • 28% – Copper prices are up 28% for the year and at levels not seen since 2013. (Who said 2020 was completely bad?!?)
  • 13% – Aluminum prices up 13% for the year (insert above comment). 

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Sometimes it is worth saving things JUST BECAUSE…or it is worth reselling – but scrapping is not always the option. This week iScrapper Mike B. found a sewing machine that was over 150 years old and is a piece of classic Americana. If that machine could tell stories about the things that it has created we are sure to listen to them for a long time.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Sees Small Pullback

Last Thursday, we saw a jump in the copper prices to levels that we have not seen in almost 8 years. While the increase did have a slight pullback afterward, we were still happy to see prices remaining stable over the last few weeks after the run-up in copper. Many people have asked about the reasons why the markets have climbed so much and there are multiple avenues to choose from.

What the COVID-19 outbreak did has had a ripple effect, where the manufacturing and production in China has ramped up higher than it was before. This has led to an increased demand in electronics and different parts for other manufacturing industries where we have seen a major uptick. Since that happened, we have seen the demand for goods coming out of China increase and the manufacturing demands also increasing thus leading to higher Copper prices. These prices are hopeful to stay for the long term but there’s a couple of things that you can’t forget about.

Why Has Copper Gone Up?

With trillions of dollars created in 2020 not only in the United States also in other nations to help stimulate the economy – and offset the massive amount of unemployment – that money has diluted the other money that is out there and the increase in copper prices should not be as much of a surprise. If you did an analysis the market would be much lower in comparison, but after pumping so much money in, we also have another reason for increased prices.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (12/09 – 12/15):




Philadephia, PA Copper Transformers $0.10 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.15 / lb
Vancouver, WA Insulated Copper Wire $0.55 / lb
Loves Park, IL #1 Copper Tubing $3.00 / lb
Punta Gorda, Fl #2 Copper Tubing $2.60 / lb
Westville, IN 2/3 Mix Copper $2.21 / lb
Holland, MI Lead Batteries $0.17 / lb
Tucson, AZ Aluminum Rims $0.55 / lb
Bluefield, WV Stainless Steel $0.28 / lb
Staunton, VA Aluminum Scrap $0.20 / lb
Pell City, AL Aluminum Cans $0.30 / lb
Terrell, TX 500-750 Insulated Cable $0.76 /lb

Ferrous Market News

Steel Prices Has Benefited From COVID

Steel prices have finally benefited as well, as they were relatively dormant for most of the year. With the manufacturing uptick in full swing, we are seeing these prices have an increase as well, and with oil starting to recover that’s another large reason for the price increases. We have seen multiple records for iron ore coming out of different mining operations continue at the same time. To help boost more of the market, we have heard different pieces of news coming out to go along with the copper and other non-ferrous consumptions where manufacturing is increasing and leading to much higher prices for scrap iron.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (12/09 – 12/15):




Fayetteville, NC Shreddable Steel $0.06 /lb
Harrisburg, PA #1 Steel $0.06 /lb
Idaho Falls, ID Complete Car $90 /ton
Clarksville, IN #2 Heavy Melting Steel $135 /ton
Brookhaven, MS Cast Iron $0.07 /lb
Seattle, WA Shreddable Steel $60 /ton
Phoenix, AZ #1 Steel $0.04 /lb
Rock Hill, SC Complete Car $0.07 /lb
Greenbay, WI #1 HMS $0.09 /lb
Solvay, NY Short Steel $280 /ton
Columbus, OH Shreddable Steel $185 /ton

Aluminum Scrap Prices & Market News

We have continued to see the aluminum markets remaining strong and add a piece that seems to be sustainable. With basic grades of aluminum like sheet and cast continuing to climb in price, we have seen some of the averages going into the mid $0.20’s per pound. In addition, some of the higher grades like stripped aluminum wire have continued their aggressive climb as well.

On top of that, we have seen the stainless market continuing to increase in value as nickel prices are starting to show signs of life. Going into 2021, these are all positive signs and we are happy to see these markets increasing.

Catalytic Converter Market News



Like most of the other markets, we have continued to see strong output for the catalytic converter markets. The team at has let us know that they will be updating their website with more base metal prices for lower and higher price charts for palladium, platinum, and rhodium. Over the last week, we have seen these markets continuing to climb and we are happy to see the increase remaining steady which we always say is one of the most important things. Going into 2021, we hope that you continue to get more scrap cars as we see the car market continuing to be strong and steady.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (12/09 – 12/15):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $360/@
GD3 $601/@
JSH62 $315 / @
12606389 $328 /@
25130440 $246/ @
Small Foreign $117/ @
Regular Domestic $205/ @


Thank You.

Since 2011 you have given us the ability to share market news and let us know what you’re looking for overall. If you want more information please just update us, so we can continue to push this knowledge to you and get you more scrap prices, and information along with more market news. We always appreciate you tuning in and we look forward to talking with you in 2021. Enjoy the time with your friends and family and we will always scrap you later.

– Tom

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