Big Changes Coming to Scrap Prices – 1/20/21


And another one!

With copper rebounding over the last couple of days and the incoming administration starting today we should see some big changes in the overall market in the coming months. How it is going to affect the scrap prices is something that we will continue to look at and pursue. With copper stabilizing after its monster games of the last few months, we are very optimistic that the market will continue to stay strong over the next 3 to 6 months. While there may be some pullbacks, overall we have seen strong times heading into 2021.

Quick Numbers

  • 5% – Oil and gas prices are up 5% over the last few weeks.
  • -$20 – Steel and iron prices have been hurt recently with the markets showing larger pullbacks. 

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Is scrapping a job? A trade? A hobby? A vocation? We saw iScrapper Ron R. ask if scrapping was a job/trade this week and it procured a lot of responses. This can be made very apparent by the number of responses and in our opinion scrapping is a trade. Oxford Languages say that the definition of trade is: “A skilled job, typically requiring manual skills and special training.” 

Scrapping knowledge takes skills to know what to look for and what has value. Scrapping takes training to learn how to use tools and see how to maximize profits. What do you think?


Non-Ferrous Market News

Stable Prices Are Good

One of the big things that we’ve talked about and looked at is trying to have a steady economy and steady pricing to help everyone secure stability. One thing we will look for over the next 3 to 6 months is the market stabilizing with the incoming administration and the levels of cases going down. This should drastically affect prices, But not as much as some of the trade policies and economic stimulus packages will.

You have to imagine that with the amount of money that’s been pushed into the worldwide economy a lot of the prices that we see, while they are higher they are technically inflated because of the dilution of the US and world currency. Looking at the demand for copper over the next few years seems to be extremely strong with the push into the electric vehicle market and charging stations not slowing down anytime soon. We could see a large infrastructure package with the new administration which could change and help the demand for raw materials.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/13 – 1/19):




Sedalia, MO Aluminum Copper Radiators $1.22 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.08 / lb
Prestonburg, KY #1 Copper Tubing $2.80 / lb
Vidor, TX #2 Copper Tubing $2.68 / lb
Castroville, CA Insulated Copper Wire $0.35 / lb
Bradford, PA 304 Stainless Steel  $0.50 / lb
Arvada, CO Yellow Brass $1.85 / lb
Savannah, GA Aluminum Cans $0.28 / lb
Dayton, OH Electric Motors (Copper) $0.13 / lb
Delray Beach, FL Old Sheet Aluminum $0.25 / lb
Chanute, KS Lead Batteries $0.15 / lb
Huntington, WV Clean Brass Shells $1.00 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, and Down Again

What goes down must come up and then go sideways and then go up again and then go down again. That’s pretty much the story of what has happened with the iron market and steel pricing over the last few months. With the large increase in scrap steel prices everyone has enjoyed we have now started to see a bit of a decline starting this week. We saw pricing down around $20-$30 per ton on all types of grades of scrap with more decreases coming, going into February. While we don’t like to see these price decreases even after the two rounds of drops, we will still have prices much higher than they were a few short months ago.

One thing we definitely are seeing is the higher gas prices and oil prices. This is going to lead to further transportation increases and as the economy recovers and people get on the road more we might see more pinching at the gas pump over the next few months.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (1/13 – 1/19):




Columbus, IN Light Iron $0.10 /lb
Alvin, TX Scrap Iron $0.07 /lb
Mora, MN Incomplete Car $90 /ton
Lexington, SC #1 Prepared $9.75 /CW
Sherman, TX Tin $170 /ton
Covington, GA Scrap Iron $0.07 /lb
Bangor, ME Complete Car $60 /ton
Dennisville, NJ Cast Iron $9.20 /CW
Lancaster, PA #1 HMS $8.00 /CW
Saginaw, MI Sheet Iron $180 /ton
Hamilton, Ontario* Light Iron $250 /ton

Other Metal Markets

Lead Prices Have Leveled Out

Lead prices have continued to stay relatively steady but much lower compared to the price increase percentages that we have seen from other metals. While this may be a cause for temporary concern, we don’t see this as a long-term problem as lead will continue to be used and applied in multiple applications from medical to the auto sector. Even though there will be more electric vehicles coming on the market utilizing different types of batteries, we know that will be a long time until lead acid-based batteries get factored out.

Catalytic Converter Market News


Highest price averages ever. Isn’t that always what you want to hear except when you’re buying something? Well, today we have the highest price averages ever reported for the overall catalytic converter industry told to us by the team at We have seen rhodium prices climbing to all-time record highs with prices over $21,000 per ounce. While palladium and platinum prices have not hit record highs, they have remained very strong with small increases over the last few weeks. Week after week having small increases is a positive sign but one thing we are looking for is new regulations coming out that could potentially prop up these pricing markets even more.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (1/13 – 1/19):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $412/@
GD3 $689/@
JSH62 $378 / @
12606389 $373/@
25130440 $322/ @
Small Foreign $131/ @
Regular Domestic $219/ @


Thank You.

With a new president and administration, there will be new laws, regulations, and rules to follow. But one thing that we know, going into the period of the new administration; we will have strong prices on the commodity side, and the worldwide demand to get back on track after being ravaged by this pandemic seems to have all signs pointing to very strong. We expect the second half of this year to shine even more with commodity prices and we look forward to reporting the information to you week after week, in the coming months.

– Tom

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