Copper Hitting Record Highs…Again – 2/10/21


Feeling the Love? 

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we are certainly feeling the love in the scrap markets right now. Copper prices today, have risen to multi-year highs and are fast approaching the coveted $4.00/lb trading level. While the level is close, there are multiple hurdles in the way and we await a lot of pieces of news including the stimulus from the government.

While the stimulus has been heavily discussed, one of the major reasons that the price of copper has gone up has been the optimistic point of view, not only for electric vehicles coming on board but also for the world recovery from what was 2020. We have seen some of the steel prices recovering slightly after the larger dip that we saw recently and overall, we think that the outlook is extremely optimistic.

Quick Numbers

  • 9 Years – Copper is at a 9 year high right now. CASH IN TIME!
  • $40 per ton – After seeing the markets increasing for steel, we have seen an overall $40 per ton drop. 

Weekly Scrap Video Tip 

This week we wanted to focus on sharing commonalities in scrap questions- and ingots were the topic. Scrappers have asked whether or not to make ingots on their own and Tom has tried to answer them here

Suggested Reading: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Melt Your Own Scrap Ingots

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Over the years we have seen scrappers generally having their own motivation for making extra money or even turning scrapping into a full-time job. This week Lee D. asked what peoples motivation level is and why scrapping helps to quench that thirst, whether it is environmentally based or monetarily based. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Is Hot ????

Like we have said for most of the year, copper has been one of the brightest spots in the entire commodities market. As the world economy begins to recover and vaccines begin to roll out, we have started to see increased demand for everyone’s favorite red metal. Those worldwide demands will cause the markets to continue to increase going into 2021 with the possibility of copper prices climbing another $0.20-$0.40/lb from current market rates. While these are speculative growth periods that we have looked into and researched, we have talked to many people that see the same forecast happening as the world recovers.

Major things that we will look for going into the second quarter of 2021, will include unemployment numbers dropping and the worldwide demand for commodities continuing to increase which would lead to higher prices but stiffer competition. So when people start to shop around you create a marketplace and that is part of the reason that we share all these pieces of news with you to keep you up-to-date with the copper prices and more.

The pricing on the aluminum markets has also continued to remain strong and steady, as markets have increased almost every week in 2021. These aluminum increases are extremely welcome, especially considering we saw such a large hold back in pricing over the last few years. One of the most optimistic things that we see is that there are still many tariffs in place worldwide on the aluminum products coming into the United States and with the prices continuing to climb that just shows the strength of the market overall.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (2/03 – 2/09):




New Iberia, LA Aluminum Cans $0.35 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.15 / lb
Pittsburgh, PA #2 Copper Tubing $2.70 / lb
Goldsboro, NC Brass $1.60 / lb
Oronoco, MN  #1 Copper Tubing $2.85 / lb
Hayward, CA Aluminum Rims $0.60 / lb
Arundel, ME Ballasts $0.05 / lb
Marion, OH Insulated Copper Wire $0.65 / lb
Rockville, MD Compressors $0.11 / lb
Sherman, TX Sheet Aluminum $0.35 / lb
Chicopee, MA Sealed Units $0.22 / lb
Kamloops, British Columbia* Carbide $5.00 /lb

Ferrous Market News

Iron Is Ice Cold ????

With a decline in the iron prices over the last few weeks, that should not come as much of a surprise as we warned about those price decreases because the market jumped so quickly. The good news is that after the market leveled off over the last two weeks, we have started to see the market picking up with increases coming over the last four business cycles. With steel pricing following many other commodities increasing so strongly, we are happy to see the market is rebounding overall.

One thing that we continue to look at is transportation costs and oil pricing as they will have large impacts on the iron recycling market for the rest of the year. With more people either working from home or commuting on a part-time basis we have seen increase transportation costs for people having things delivered to their house. These increased deliveries will take vehicles away from moving scrap or other products and will make it more expensive for larger scrap yards to move large loads of material and unfortunately, a lot of the prices will get pushed down to cover the higher transportation costs.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (2/03 – 2/09):




San Marcos, TX Shreddable Steel $135 /ton
Milwaukee, WI Rotors $0.14 /lb
San Jose, CA #1 HMS $155 /ton
Lincoln, DE Light Iron $0.04 /lb
Holden, MO Complete Car $125 /ton
Glasgow, KY Tin $150 /ton
Gibsonton, FL Shreddable Steel $0.07 /lb
Townsend, MA Light Iron $0.04 /lb
Vidalia, LA #1 Prepared $250 /ton
Harrisburg, PA Tin $130 /ton
Jackson, MI Light Iron $0.05 /lb

Other Metal Markets: What’s going on with silver?

Many people have seen silver talked about in the news as one of the hot items that have been treated like some of the other crazy stocks that have been mentioned everywhere. A few people have asked us if silver prices are increasing because of market demand, but what we can see is that there has not been an increased demand only a run-up by traders. Some of these things happen from time to time and with the world increasingly becoming easier to trade anything from cattle to copper to coffee beans via an app we are not surprised to see the run-up of this white metal.

Catalytic Converter Market News



The team at has been telling us to check out their YouTube page to learn more about the different catalytic converters and we advise you to do the same. With the markets continuing to grow we have seen Rhodium jump back over $21,000 per ounce. With these markets trending more and more upwards- we are seeing great increases that seem to be stabilizing as the data pours in. 

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (2/03 – 2/09):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $408/@
GD3 $700/@
JSH62 $389 / @
12606389 $387 /@
25130440 $326/ @
Small Foreign $131/ @
Regular Domestic $219/ @


Thank You.

We have been encouraged over the last few weeks how the markets have moved in an upward trajectory and we hope to see those increases continuing moving forward. Overall, the markets have responded really well over the last few months, after a lot of the pandemic things calmed themselves down. We hope that you were remaining busy and healthy and we look forward to sharing more market news with you in the coming weeks.

– Tom

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