Copper Reaches New Heights, 10-Year Highs – 4/28/21



$4 per pound, WHAT ⁉️

Well. This is awesome. 

There are so few times where all you want to do is tell people how awesome something happened to you. Well, here it is, scrappers: reported prices for stripped copper wire come up to $4.00/ lb.  in multiple locations throughout the country. With copper prices soaring, we are seeing an increased price model across the board.

Increased prices have been fueled by increased demand in the world’s economic recovery. As a result, we have seen scrap yards increasing their prices over the last couple of weeks by about $0.30/ lb. on copper #1 and #2 on average. On top of this, we have seen a continued push for higher prices across all aluminum markets, and these price increases could continue throughout the rest of the year.

Quick Numbers

  • $4.50 – Copper levels increased their market price to $4.50 per pound briefly on Tuesday the 27th.
  • $60 – Oil prices have been hovering around the $60 per barrel mark; watch this price because it will toll on trucking/goods being moved and not to mention…gas prices.
  • $2.95 – National price average per gallon for regular gas. 

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

Imagine seeing this at your local scrap yard ???? Well, one of our scrappers did, in fact, and posted about it in Scrap Metal Recycling Talk. This is a 163451/1 FA-18c US Navy Blue Angels Fighter Jet stationed in Pensacola, FL. The Blue Angel’s mission: “to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to the country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.” What’s the most amazing thing you’ve seen at a scrap yard?

This Week’s Facebook Poll: Whether it’s for scrapping or basic fixes around the house, we want to know… What are your most used tools? Make sure to comment on your favorites here.


Featured Question

Question: What about a heat exchanger that’s been removed from a small hot water unit but has one piece of steel soldered to it? So it is 95% copper and 5% steel since that steel plate is permanently attached to the copper coil. (This was a question in response to our Copper Scrap Differences: #1, #2 & #3 video).

Tom:These are some of the best units to find for a little add-on bonus while scrapping. We always recommend taking a pair of either bolt cutters or a sawzall to clean the steel off. Sometimes we find that the copper is so soft that you can almost twist the piece of steel right off. You should not try to sell that nice piece of copper with the steel on it….ever, as it is too easy to clean.” 

Non-Ferrous Market News

???? Copper Prices Hit 10-Year Highs

What more is there to talk about other than the price of copper right now? While we always find ourselves circling back to the red metal, we have seen incredible demand recently. Not only have you heard in the news about the semiconductor shortages, but you have also seen an increased push for electric vehicles, which will ultimately lead to the increased demand and continued longevity of copper.

Since the original copper boom, about 17 to 18 years ago, copper increased when the demand out of China increased. As a result, they upgraded their electrical grid and had more people upgrading their wealth status; there was concern about where copper would go after that.

For the last 15 to 17 years, while there have been ups and downs in the markets, copper demand has not had the legs to make long-term market predictions. But with electric vehicles and charging stations being discussed daily, we do not see the pricing for copper dropping anytime soon.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (04/21 – 04/27):




Houston, TX WC Tungsten $8.00/ lb 
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.80 / lb
Jacksonville, FL Lead Batteries $0.16 / lb
Sylacauga, AL Sheet Aluminum $0.39/ lb
Tumwater, WA #2 Copper Tubing  $2.75 / lb
San Marcos, TX Compressors $0.19 / lb
Pueblo, CO Electric Motor (Copper) $0.12/ lb
West Bend, WI Aluminum Cans  $0.50 / lb
Saginaw, MI Cast Aluminum $0.48/ lb
Norfolk, NE Insulated Copper Wire  $2.26 / lb
Oakville, Ontario* Communications Wire $1.60/ lb 
Surrey, British Columbia* Stainless Steel $0.10 / lb 

Ferrous Market News

⬇️ Steel Is Still Falling

Iron ore prices have continued to remain high, so we have also seen oil markets increasing. You would think that both would lead to higher scrap prices, but that has not been the case over the last month. Instead, we have seen scrap steel and iron prices falling over this period of time, about $15 per ton across the markets.

We do expect markets to pick back up, but with so many areas of the world still dealing with the pandemic, along with new political issues, we could see a weak steel market continue in the next few months and throughout the summer.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (04/21 – 04/27):




Lacey, WA Shreddable Steel $120 / ton
Lisbon, NH Tin  $0.05 / lb
Fresno, CA #1 Steel $220 / ton
Buffalo, NY Scrap Iron $175 / ton
El Reno, OK Complete Car  $135 / ton
Lancaster, PA Light Iron $0.07 / lb 
Bronson, MI Hubs & Rotors $280 / ton
Eugene, OR Unprepared HMS $140 / ton
Fillmore, IL Complete Vehicle  $400/ vehicle
Lachine, Quebec* Turnings $115 / Mton
Winnipeg, Manitoba* Steel/Tin/Cast $235/ ton

Other Metal Markets

???? Aluminum Is Up Too!

The London metal exchange, commonly known as the LME, has had a very great and increased demand for aluminum pricing. All different grades of aluminum, from sheet to new stamp pins, from different production lines, have shown a great and increased demand. This has led to prices going up across the board. This also could be the new normal pricing markets for the foreseeable future.

Catalytic Converter Market News



With catalytic converter prices continuing to heat up, we have seen the markets growing in pricing rapidly. This last week, we were able to be part of a video with Verge Science talking about the value of catalytic converters – and you can check that out here. Even with the car markets turning to electric vehicles in the next 15-20 years, the demand for increased fuel efficiency is not going anywhere, nor is the demand for a cleaner planet. For just those reasons, we expect to see the PGM markets continuing to excel and stay strong for the rest of 2021. 

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (04/21 – 04/27):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $500/@
GD3 $900/@
JSH62 $489/ @
12606389 $453 /@
25130440 $377/ @
Small Foreign $149/ @
Regular Domestic $232/ @


Thank You.

With so many of the markets climbing with such strength and strong predictions for the rest of 2021, we look forward to seeing the progress overall. We have to keep watching these markets closely, and we would love to hear about topics that we can speak more about to help you learn and make more money with your scrap. 

– Tom

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*Canadian Dollar