Copper Scrap Prices Heating Up? – 7/22/2020

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Good Day!

We hope that everyone has been staying out of this extreme heat. If you’ve been working in it we hope that you have at least been cutTing up a lot of scrap and loading your trucks with it while drinking plenty of water. We hope that you are staying busy and enjoying these high copper prices that we have now seen over the last three weeks and are really beginning to see different scrap yards increasing they are buying prices which is extremely promising.

We have started to see the price of oil remain above $40 per barrel and that has started to cause some of the steel and iron prices either to level off from the drop-offs that we saw or potentially increase over the last few days. We will know more over the next 2 to 3 weeks going into August but at least we do not have another decline week over week.

Quick Numbers

  • 18 – Month high on copper pricing.
  • $2.20+ – Average Bare Bright Price across the US.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

This week we spotlight Max S. who talks about his hustles daily with cars and cats. He sent out some crazy numbers about the amount of spare change that some recyclers find and we see that one mans trash is truly another man’s treasure.


Non-Ferrous Market News

Does it seem that you’re running in all types of directions because the summer is here and scrap is all over the place? That’s what we’ve been seeing from so many social posts online as well as talking to customers in person at Rockaway Recycling and through direct messages through all of our online systems. With the price of copper remaining at 18-month highs we have seen the market not only increase but keep the higher pricing that we hoped that it would.

We have started to see prices on Stripped Copper Wire approaching national averages above $2.20 per pound which is extremely optimistic as those higher prices have resulted in most of the yellow, red, and insulated copper wire markets all having increased prices. One of the bigger concerns that we have is, we can see with the trade deal and the tariff arrangements that are still ongoing as so much of the world has so many questions on where the direction of manufacturing and shipping will be going in the upcoming months.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (7/15 – 7/21):




Tuscaloosa, AL Aluminum Cans $0.25 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.30 / lb
Wheat Ridge, CO Aluminum Copper Radiators $0.84 / lb
Creal Springs, IL Brass $1.20 / lb
Wolcott, CT Romex Wire $0.75 / lb
Winona, MN Insulated Aluminum Wire $0.15 / lb
Columbus, GA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.14 / lb
York, PA #1 Copper Tubing $2.25 / lb
Akron, OH #2 Copper Tubing $2.00 / lb
Seattle, WA THHN Wire $1.55 / lb
Pompano Beach, FL Stainless Steel $0.20 / lb
Cornwall, Ontario* Brass $1.65 / lb

Ferrous Market News

With the pricing on steel hovering at similar levels the last 2-3 weeks we have not seen or heard of much movement. While we saw small increases in a few locations of -10 per ton- that was rare and could mean that the scrap yard has an order to fill and will pay for more material to do it. Other yards are not able to see higher prices and unfortunately this may be the new regular steel pricing for the foreseeable future.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (7/15 – 7/21):




Melbourne, FL Shreddable Steel $0.03 /lb
Troy, MO Scrap Iron $60 /ton
St. Mary’s, PA Tin $40 /ton
Hardwick, VT Cast Iron $70 /ton
Rochester, NY Shreddable Steel $110 /ton
Salem, OH Sheet Iron $80 /ton
Deerfield Beach, FL Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Cohasset, MN Complete Car $40 /ton
Charlotte, NC #1 Prepared Steel $3.50/CW
Bedford, IN Light Iron $80 /ton
New Dundee, Ontario* Shreddable Steel $130 /ton

Other Metal Markets

Aluminum & Stainless Steel Markets

Aluminum and stainless are relatively flat week over week. While many people keep asking when the markets will show signs of life we keep pointing at the tariffs and lack of air travel. These are two things that are weighing heavily on the markets and will be very difficult to see improvement anytime soon. 

Catalytic Converter Market News

With the prices UP across the board on all three base metals, we have been able to see the markets gaining ground from some of the recent lows. While the lows are still much higher than they were back in March or April we are only about 10-15% below those all-time highs that were reached earlier this year. The team at looks forward to the opportunity to earn your cat business and by following market trends and reading these reports you too will know what is going on. 

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (7/15 – 7/21):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $309/@
GD3 $454 /@
JSH62 $238/ @
12606389 $267 /@
25130440 $164/ @
Small Foreign $69/ @
Regular Domestic $149/ @

Thank You.

It’s hot. Period. Mic drop. But the pricing on non-ferrous red-based metals (copper, brass, bronze) has also been heating up and we have to focus on how well that it is doing and how we can continue to see positive trends moving forward. The cat market has continued to stay strong and we see gold approaching $1,900 per ounce and a possible record high. Let’s focus on the markets week to week so we continue to let you know our longer-term perspective on it. 

– Tom

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