With 7-Year Highs, Scrap Prices Are Delicate – 12/9/20


Scrappy Holidays!

With the “big man in red” only a short 2.5 weeks away from showing up, we have certainly been given a nice gift before the holidays with these markets. Over the last week while we have not seen massive market movement; we have seen overall stabilization. Why is this important? December is generally one of the most up and down months of the year with many people going on holiday or liquidating inventory.

This year is a little different with these markets having such an increase and everyone looking to move material unlike in years past. On top of this, we see the year coming to a close and a lot of positive predictions in the markets moving into 2021.

Quick Numbers

  • $133.05 – Iron ore at its highest level in 7 years. 
  • $3.53 – Copper trading levels at 7-year highs as well.

Weekly Facebook Group Highlight

This week we wanted to get festive and share a little holiday spirit. iScrapper Brooke T. posted a Christmas Tree – we mean an air compressor that she found and wanted to share with the group to see if anyone knew an age on it. It is a great find and we love seeing the stories as well as the comments! Happy Trails and Scrappy Holiday!


Non-Ferrous Market News

Copper Is Seeing 7-Year High Prices

With copper prices continuing to remain strong, we have seen the markets moving at a very steady pace over the last few weeks. While these times make us happy, we know that it could just take a quick market reaction to have $0.15-$0.20 drops the way that the increase happened so quickly at the same time.

Brass Prices Went Up, But Zinc Is Ruining Higher Prices

Brass prices have risen as well over the last few weeks but not as aggressively based on the percentage that copper has. Zinc, which is one of the more common metals mixed in with copper to help form different types of brass has not had nearly as an aggressive run and that has stalled the brass markets slightly.

Lead has had a very nice recovery over the last 3 to 4 weeks after seeing the lead-acid battery really drop in the month of September through November. We are starting to see recovery although prices are up about $0.02/lb over the last three weeks which does not offset the $0.06-$0.07 per pound decrease that we saw in the battery market.

Reported Non-Ferrous Scrap Prices (12/02 – 12/08):




Rolla, MO Aluminum Cans $0.40 / lb
Rockaway, NJ #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.10 / lb
Rome, GA #1 Copper Tubing $2.10 / lb
Pensacola, FL #2 Copper Tubing $2.42 / lb
Jamestown, NY Lead $0.45 / lb
Seattle, WA Yellow Brass $1.74 / lb
Davenport, IA ACR $1.38 / lb
Rochester, IN Painted Siding $0.25 / lb
El Dorado, AR Car/Truck Batteries $0.14 / lb
Sherman, MS Old Cast Aluminum $0.32 / lb
Brighton, IL Christmas Lights $0.12 / lb
Halifax, Nova Scotia* #1 Copper Tubing $3.55 / lb

Ferrous Market News

The Rebound of Oil Prices Launches Steel Prices

Pushed by a strong rebound in the oil market from talks of the vaccination and travel restrictions loosening over the coming 3 to 6 months, we have started to see the steel market reacting to these market changes. Overall, from November 1st through today, we see the steel market up about $25 per ton across all grades of steel from light iron to heavy melt. While oil prices have also had one of their best runs in recent years during the month of November increasing about 15%, those increased fuel costs and energy demands will help push iron prices up further going into the New Year.

Reported Ferrous Scrap Prices (12/02 – 12/08):




Sterling Heights, MI Shreddable Steel $168 /ton
Akron, OH Light Iron $0.07 /lb
McCalla, AL Scrap Iron $0.09 /lb
Owego, NY Tin $220 /ton
Chickasha, OK Shreddable Steel $120 /ton
Moberly, MO Unprepared Cast Iron $160 /ton
Loves Park, IL Scrap Iron $165 /ton
Bradford, PA Unprepared HMS $225 /ton
Gosport, IN #1 Prepared $160 /ton
Berwick, ME Light Iron $60 /ton
Elkhorn, WI Cast Iron $90/ton

Other Metal Markets – Batteries

Everyone talks about specialty batteries such as lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride. These different battery markets have traditionally been very difficult to recycle as few scrap yards look to purchase them due to the volatility of the markets. Some of these batteries have been known to have large scrap values, but many of them have very low residual value if not negative value. Negative value per pound meaning that it will cost money to recycle these due to the risk involved of taking them apart.

Catalytic Converter Prices & Market News


With the catalytic converter price market staying stable over the last week it has been nice to see the catalytic converter prices at these levels. One of the biggest problems that we have after talking to the team at RRCats.com is how the large price increase is going to potentially cause problems down the road when we inevitably have a market pullback. When the market has pullbacks of 15 to 20% after having large increases it makes it very difficult to explain to people selling cats why there are such price deductions.

But with the markets remaining at very strong levels, we are optimistic that these prices will continue to flourish and grow in the coming months as more clean energy is pushed, but people remain relying on the oil and gas markets.

Scrap Catalytic Converter Prices This Week (12/02 – 12/08):

Cat Type/Serial Number


EA6 $360/@
GD3 $601/@
JSH62 $315 / @
12606389 $328 /@
25130440 $246/ @
Small Foreign $117/ @
Regular Domestic $205/ @


Thank You.

With only a few weekly reports coming up for the rest of 2020, we would love to hear what you want us to talk about during this time. We hope that you’re continuing to remain busy and staying healthy. Happy holidays from the team at the iScrap App.


– Tom

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