How The US Election Could Affect Scrap Prices – 10/28/20

Jump To Non-Ferrous Prices


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We hope that everyone is doing well and of course getting out there and voting. With less than one week left, we know that the commodity prices are going to move one way or another over the coming four years based on different presidential policies and there are different positive factors for each candidate. We watch these markets and try to figure out how the world reacts to the United States producing more oil which has led to cheaper gas prices but at the same time has also kept down some of the metal prices.

So you need to be able to look at both sides of the argument before you figure out who you want to make a decision on and where the copper prices, iron prices, and other metal markets would move to.

Quick Numbers

  • $0.13 – Drop in copper after hitting last weeks 2.5-year highs
  • 6 Days – Until the 2020 US Presidential Election
  • Flat – Steel prices relatively unchanged (but oil/gas down).

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Tough figuring out if things are worth trying and that’s the dilemma this week that iScrapper Chuck L. had while talking about removing a trailer. Sometimes the juice is not worth the squeeze and unless you plan on charging customers to take these apart we have found that you can never make money with them. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

After hitting 2 1/2 year highs last week, we have seen copper pull back about $0.12 per pound overall. One of the major factors was the lack of a stimulus bill and it looks like that bill will be stalled until after the election. On top of that, we’ve seen more cases rising and Europe is talking about a potential lockdown that will affect not only the commodities but the goods bought from consumers in Europe and potentially across the United States if another lockdown happens.

While copper prices have pulled back we have continued to see increased demand for the aluminum markets and have seen slightly better prices week over week for the last three weeks of trading and in the market news. Hopefully, this is a positive sign that having a lack of aluminum in large stock will contribute to higher scrap prices to help raise those commodity levels.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (10/21 – 10/27):




Florence, AL Aluminum Cans $0.35 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.65 / lb
Seattle, WA #1 Copper Tubing $2.35 / lb
Bluefield, WV #2 Copper Tubing $2.15 / lb
Winter Springs, Fl Brass $1.47 / lb
Oak Ridge, TN Stainless Steel $0.35 / lb
Yuba City, CA Aluminum Rims $0.22 / lb
Oklahoma City, OK Ballasts $0.04 / lb
Vidor, TX #2/3 Mix Copper $2.29 / lb
Westville, IN Sheet Aluminum $0.17 / lb
York, PA Aluminum Siding $0.25 / lb
St. George, UT Romex Wire $1.25 / lb

Ferrous Market News

With oil and gasoline prices continuing to be at lower levels and moving lower over the last few weeks, we have seen steel and iron prices continuing to be on a decline, as well. While the market did not see a large turnover in the last seven days, we did see a bit of a domino effect from some of the price drops we saw earlier this month. Going into November, the market is mixed on whether or not we have an increase or decrease coming but it looks like most people are holding their breath until post-election.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (10/21 – 10/27):




Waterloo, IN Shreddable Steel $138 /ton
Dennisville, NJ Light Iron $5.20 /CW
Greenbay, WI Unprepared Cast Iron $0.08 /lb
Greeneville, TN Scrap Iron $90 /ton
Fitchburg, MA Unprepared HMS $130 /ton
Vancouver, WA Tin $0.04 /lb
Lebanon, MO Complete Car $105 /ton
Sherman, TX Tin $0.05 /lb
Bradford, PA Rotors $185 /ton
Skowhegan, ME #1 UPPD $0.06 /lb.
Richmond, British Columbia* Tin $130 /ton

Other Metal Markets

Gold prices have remained relatively steady at around ,900 an ounce and the electronics market has picked up slightly for scrap value. One large reason we have not seen big increases again in the gold prices is because of the increased stabilization in the overall market, as well as very positive production in manufacturing numbers coming out of different Wall Street earnings reports.

Catalytic Converter Market News



Well, they are calling for a slightly decreased demand in platinum markets for the next few years as more vehicles are turning to the fully electric model. It’s going to be interesting to see where some of these precious metal markets shape up. Multiple states such as California and New Jersey have talked about having their markets going all-electric which could damper the catalytic converter recycling market long-term, but in the short term with such a high dependence on oil and gas; catalytic converter‘s and the three precious metals involved, continue to be at a high demand.

The team at has continued to update and post prices.  The markets have been strong over the last week with rhodium still hovering around $14,000 per ounce, as palladium and platinum have slightly dipped over the last week.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (10/21 – 10/27):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $350/@
GD3 $565 /@
JSH62 $288 / @
12606389 $316 /@
25130440 $218/ @
Small Foreign $108/ @
Regular Domestic $196/ @

Thank You.

The next time we talk to you, hopefully, we will have clarity on where the presidential election is and it won’t be held up in court as we can finally start to get a firm idea of where the commodities markets are going to go for the next four years. We look forward to talking to you next week and always look forward to answering any and all questions.

– Tom

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