Copper Up 50% Since March – 12/23/20


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from iScrap to You and Yours!

We hope that everyone had a very unique year that you remember maybe not fondly, but you still remember it. We try to be optimists and focus on the good things so let’s talk about the positive changes that we saw in the scrap metal market in 2020. With copper prices going to eight-year highs, iron ore prices rising to close to all-time records, we have seen the 2nd half of 2020’s scrap market have big increases.

We are optimistic that going into 2021 we will continue to see a strong market in the first half of the year and we hope to see not only the copper prices but also the aluminum and other commodities increasing, as well. All directions seem to lead to a higher output and higher prices so 2021 could be one of the better years that we have seen in the scrap metal industry in a long time.

Quick Numbers

  • 2 Years – Aluminum prices are at records that we have not seen in over two years.
  • 8 Years – Copper is at or near eight-year highs to end 2020. 

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

To end the year we wanted to share a post that made us laugh because not only do we use it in real life but we know that many of you do as well. We want to thank iScrapper Michael D. For letting us have a good laugh going into 2021. Let us know how many of you use the same methods as this post.


Non-Ferrous 2020 Market Recap

Copper Has Jump 50% Since March

We saw the prices of copper increase over 50% since bottoming out in March. This was a very welcome change at any time but in 2020 it might’ve been a little more needed, as it was such a tough year for so many people. Going into 2021 the output for copper and the demand seems to be increasing steadily as the Chinese are consuming more material and other manufacturing countries in the world are doing the same.

EV Market Is Coming In Hot!

One of the biggest things that we will look for in 2021 and the next 10 years will be the revolution of the electric vehicle market otherwise known as the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. Not only will this market consume a massive amount of copper for the cars, but will also need a large infrastructure put into place for charging stations across the country and across the world in other countries. This should not be a surprise as gas stations are all over the place and for electric vehicles to work long-term, we need to be able to have charging stations all over the place. This is going to lead to a high copper demand for the foreseeable future and we hope to see prices retaining higher levels than normal.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (12/16 – 12/22):




Barstow, CA Brass Shells $1.10 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.10 / lb
Miami, FL Compressors $0.10 / lb
Harrisburg, PA THHN Wire $1.38 / lb
Townsend, MA Stainless Steel $0.25 / lb
Davenport, IA Electric Motors (Copper) $0.17 / lb
Tyler, TX Yellow Brass $1.75 / lb
Englewood, CO Red Brass $1.60 / lb
Lackawanna, NY Car/Truck Batteries $0.15 / lb
Inver Grove Heights, MN #1 Copper Tubing $2.85 / lb
Gilberts, IL #2 Copper Tubing $2.50 / lb
Calgary, Alberta * Insulated Copper Wire $1.30 /lb

Ferrous 2020 Market Recap

Stable Steel Prices To Start 2021

And prices have risen over the last 3 to 4 months we have finally seen nice increases that seem sustainable going into 2021. While so many people will continue to complain about 2020, we in the scrap metal industry know that the second half of this year was one that was unexpected and certainly welcome going into 2021. It’s been a long time since we saw a very steady increase in the second half of this year and we are hoping that this trend continues moving forward.

Close To All-Time High Prices

With our prices approaching all-time record highs, we are hoping to see the markets continue to shine as different economists are predicting that early 2021 could possibly see the all-time record highs. Add in the increased demand for steel and other iron items and we should see more of an increase going into the rest of the year and into 2021 possibly for the first six months and even further if the world economic recovery continues.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (12/16 – 12/22):




Kingsport, TN Tin $5.00 /CW
Waco, TX #1 Prepared $10.50 /CW
Aurora, IL Uncleaned Auto Cast $225 /ton
Clearwater, FL Light Iron $6.50 /CW
Rochester, NY Shreddable Steel $220 /ton
Prestonburg, KY P&S $12.00 /CW
Saginaw, MI Brakes/Rotors $215 /ton
Festus, MO Light Iron $145 /ton
Hartley, DE #1 Unprepared $7.00 /CW
South Amboy, NJ Cast Iron $0.08 /Lb
Hamilton, Ontario* Auto Cast $320/ton

Other Metal Markets

As aluminum prices have gone over to year highs with many expectations of the tariffs being removed from the markets we have seen a nice price surge in 2020. Going into the rest of the year we expect to see a market similar to where they have been the last few months but going into 2021 we expect to see a really nice increase overall.

We also expect to see continued demand for items such as lead, and further development of the specialty battery market. These different metals from lithium ion-based batteries and other specialty batteries will continue to show strong growth going into 2021 and forward in the market will be very interesting to follow moving forward.

Catalytic Converter Market News


The team at has continued to work with thousands of scrappers getting quotes on catalytic converter’s and sharing information about the markets. Many people do not normally follow the individual markets such as rhodium, platinum or palladium on a daily occurrence, the team here follow these markets so we can follow the prices closely and see where the catalytic converter pricing markets are falling. With markets having a very strong 2020 we are hoping to see more of the same moving into 2021. With more push for electric vehicles and hybrids, we expect to see a further increase in these markets both domestically and worldwide as there is a very strong push to have a much more green footprint for many metals and many cars across the world.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (12/16 – 12/22):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $361/@
GD3 $608/@
JSH62 $321 / @
12606389 $331 /@
25130440 $252/ @
Small Foreign $121/ @
Regular Domestic $209/ @


Thank You.

We hope that you continue to enjoy our market pricing updates and weekly reports as we look forward to expanding this going into 2021 even more. We always look for ideas, stories and different pieces of information that you can provide us that will in turn help you learn more about different market wants and needs. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and rewarding 2021.

– Tom

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