Forget Viruses, Oil Affected Prices This Week – 3/11/20

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Our Head Hurts…

If last week we were on a roller coaster than this week we’re not even sure what we’re on, other than some type of crazy rocket ship. After seeing the stock market trading get temporarily paused on Monday after a 2000-point drop overall; we’re watching the market extremely closely and trying to figure out what’s going on. Fortunately, we did not see too much of a change in copper even though the market was doing all types of crazy fluctuations.

What we did see was a crazy decline in oil prices, the largest since 1991. With the oil prices dropping 30% between Friday and Monday’s trading being primarily because of the potential battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia, it’s interesting to see what’s going on. Now let’s get into the weekly report…

Quick Numbers

  • 30% – Oil prices dropped 30% in two trading days which might not be good for the steel market.
  • 1000’s – Regular trading days are in the 100’s of points or less in the stock market, with wild swings up and down in the thousands it is a crazy time. 

Suggested Reading: Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

This week iScrapper James K. asked a question about a radiator that so many people immediately responded to. We have seen the question about cleaning the radiators before and we have also seen the question asking if they were copper or brass…great responses.


Non-Ferrous Market News

The story this week is not as much about copper prices moving, as it is the coronavirus and the repercussions of it on the entire economy and all social aspects. Copper prices have been relatively unchanged last week and a half, even with the economic turmoil in the overall markets. We have been watching these markets reacting to the stock market dropping 2000 points and then rising 1000 points. Who knows what’s going to happen today, tomorrow or the next day but we’re very happy with how the market has been reacting overall.

With oil prices dropping 30% between Friday and Monday, that’s going to affect the markets in all different types of ways. The story of the week and really for the next few weeks is going to be how the overall supply chains are going to be affected by the virus and the hangover effect overall.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/4 – 3/10):




Colorado Springs, CO Cast Aluminum $0.16 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.05 / lb
McAllen, TX Alternators $0.21 / lb
Dunmore, PA Romex® Wire $0.52 / lb
Salem, OR #1 Copper Tubing $1.85 / lb
Ponca City, OK #2 Copper Tubing $1.55 / lb
Orem, UT Insulated Copper Wire $0.45 / lb
Mansfield, OH Brass $1.10 / lb
Springhill, FL Aluminum Cans $0.30 / lb
Manitoba, CA Car/Truck Batteries $0.35 / lb
Florence, AL Aluminum Radiators $0.85 / lb
Kenner, LA Aluminum Siding $0.23 / lb

Ferrous Market News

For the last 30 years, we’ve always talked about how steel prices have affected and been affected by gas prices. With the gas prices dropping down 30% for the last few days, it’s gonna be very interesting to see what happens to iron over the next few weeks. This will become one of the biggest problems and or concerns on what’s going to happen moving forward. 

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (3/4 – 3/10):




Greensburg, PA #1 Steel $100 /ton
Portland, OR Cast Iron $100 /ton
Shawnee, OK Shreddable Steel $30 /ton
Portsmouth, OH Light Iron $110 /ton
Pella, IA #2 HMS $90 /ton
Rochester, NY Tin $116 /ton
Bowling Green, KY #1 Steel $110 /ton
Harrisburg, PA Shreddable Steel $90 /ton
Kenner, LA Light Iron $100 /ton
Vineland, NJ #1 HMS $0.07 /lb.
Louisville, KY Cast Iron $70 /ton

Other Markets

Precious metals that go into catalytic converter pricing have slightly gone down over the last few days with the stocks jumping all over the place. Nothing should come as a surprise as these markets are jumping in ways that we have not seen in any recent times. 

Thank You.

– Tom

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