Scrap Prices React To Vaccine News – 11/18/20

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Good Day to All! 

We hope that you, your friends and your families are continuing to be busy, healthy, and safe. With so many things going on right now we know that it’s fun to just talk about scrap sometimes that’s what we intend to do today. We have seen a very strong 10 days in the markets both for copper prices, races, steel prices, and catalytic converters. Why is this? Because of the announcements of two vaccinations for COVID-19 that should be coming out in the upcoming weeks and rolling out widespread through the Spring.

Commodities Are Reacting to Vaccine News

With these vaccinations, we have seen large spread increases in all types of commodities from oil to different metals. At the same time we have seen copper prices climbing higher than they were a few weeks ago and the markets have remained very strong overall. We are starting to see more consumer confidence and higher scrap prices throughout the country. Going into the holiday season this is a gift that we did not expect but we are certainly appreciative of.

Quick Numbers

  • 2.56 – Highest copper prices in 2.56 years (because we did just hit the highest 2.5-year prices recently).
  • 14% – Oil prices have risen 14% over the last two weeks and steel prices have followed.
  • 2 – Number of vaccines that were announced over the last 10 days by two different companies which helped buoy copper prices as well as other metals.

Social Scrap from Our Facebook Group

Seeing cool things nowadays seems to be far and few but iScrapper Dan K. made that all change today! With this custom-built stainless cannon (iScrap sticker provided but did not sponsored) it just shows what a little time, ingenuity, and scrap can create. Thanks for sharing Dan and we would love to see what others have created out of scrap as well. 


Non-Ferrous Market News

Big Moves for Red Metals

Red metal. Big positives to go over. With copper prices jumping over the last 10 days we have been happy to see the markets reacting in conjunction with the stock markets and other commodity markets. Too often this year we have seen a disjointed market picture and we have started to see things gelling together after the election and after the announcements of the vaccinations coming soon.

While we don’t want to beat a dead horse and talk about the vaccinations any more than every single other news outlet is, we do need to mention them for the large impact on world economic recovery and copper and aluminum prices move going forward. With a new US Presidential Administration coming into office next year we could see tariffs getting lifted and continued economic growth in the aluminum sector.

Growth Coming for Aluminum?

Aluminum has had a very nice increase over the last few months and we hope to see that continue moving forward. While we watch these markets with bated breath we still see positive actions coming as more cars are being sold in more electric vehicles are being produced in 2020 and moving forward. Why is this so important to the aluminum market? More auto manufacturers are making their car frames out of aluminum to save on the weights of the vehicles to allow for batteries to be installed.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (11/11 -11/17):




Hibbing, MN Copper Transformers $0.07 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $2.75 / lb
Gosport, IN 2/3 Mix Copper $1.80 / lb
North Kansas City, MO Aluminum Cans $0.30 / lb
Canton, IL #1 Copper Tubing $2.45 / lb
Kingston, OK #2 Copper Tubing $2.34 / lb
Grand Rapids, MI Lead Shot $0.50 / lb
Hillsboro, OR Brass Shells $1.00 / lb
Harrisburg, PA Stainless Steel $0.25 / lb
Arlington, TX Car/Truck Batteries $0.20 / lb
Omaha, NE Aluminum Rims $0.47 / lb
Seattle, WA Yellow Brass $1.51 / lb

Ferrous Market News

Steel Climbs on Oil Prices

With the price of oil increasing over the last few weeks in double-digit percentages we have seen these carry into the iron market. With a rare increase in the middle of the month, we have seen November prices for iron and for steel increasing which is very good news. We have seen these prices jumping $5 to $10 per ton and we hope to see these continue moving into January and February.

Why Do Oil Prices Affect Scrap Prices?

The month of December is always a very funny trading month due to not only the Holiday Season but also a lot of investors take the profit off of the table to allow for their own investors to get a payoff and that affects the market price is all over the place.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (11/11 -11/17):




Sacramento, CA Light Iron $75 /ton
Milaca, MN Automobiles $90 /ton
Springfield, IL Tin $100 /ton
St. Louis, MO Shreddable Steel $0.05 /lb
Prove, UT Light Iron $65 /ton
North Vernon, IN Sheet Iron $110 /ton
Miami, FL #1 HMS Prepared $150 /ton
Louisville, KY Shreddable Steel $100 /ton
Salisbury, MA Tin $4.00 /CW
Dafter, MI Sheet Iron $100 /ton
Coaticook, Quebec* #1 HMS $100 /ton

Other Metal Markets

Gold Is Down, Which Is Kinda Good

We have heard many people talking about gold prices and how they have been relatively stagnant after the large increases we saw over ,000 per ounce earlier this year. With gold hovering around $1,870 per ounce right now we do not expect to see any large increases coming soon. At the same time, we really don’t want any large increases because that means that a lot of the consumer demand is going to be a little scared and that will affect the market in all types of ways.

Car Batteries Falling

Car batteries have been hit very hard over the last few weeks with the demand going down in the supply going up. We have seen the price of car batteries drop anywhere from $0.05-$0.08 per pound over the last six weeks. The price on soft lead has not gone down but the battery prices have gone down as there has been a massive market influx of batteries driving the pricing down considerably.

Catalytic Converter Market News



We have seen the prices of catalytic converters increasing and we have seen positive news coming from this market overall. Platinum prices have increased 7% over the last week and palladium prices have gone down about 6%. Rhodium has remained relatively flat over that period of time but still remains at or near all-time highs. This is one of the best times for you to be able to contact the team at and learn about your values of the different catalytic converters that you are looking to sell.

Why Are Catalytic Converter Prices So High?

We have been asked multiple questions about the catalytic converters and we continue to tell all types of sellers to always research the people that you sell your catalytic converter’s to as many people are just fly by night buyers and establishing solid relationships will always help you.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (11/11 -11/17):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $356/@
GD3 $536 /@
JSH62 $287 / @
12606389 $313 /@
25130440 $215/ @
Small Foreign $110/ @
Regular Domestic $201/ @

Thank You.

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and we hope that you continue to stay safe and healthy over these very crazy periods of time. Let’s hope that these markets continue to increase and we bring you better news week after week going into December.

– Tom

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