Recycling Market Snapshot: September 2013

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Cooler temperatures and falling leaves are constant reminders that Fall is upon us. A volatile recycling market is another traditional symbol of autumn. Though September was a relatively stable month by historical standards, the recycling market was rather weak.

Ferrous scrap witnessed decreases in pricing in September. Major grades were down approximately $10 per gross ton across most regions. The price weakness is explained in part by lower demand from domestic mills combined with decreased appetite from foreign markets. Most analysts expect October tags to continue downward and early orders seem to confirm this suspicion.

Tags for copper scrap also slipped in the last month. Nearly every classification of the red metal weakened with major grades losing approximately $0.15 per pound. Low domestic and international demand for copper scrap continues to soften the market. China’s reluctance to buy copper has especially impacted the market.

Aluminum scrap displayed more resilience than the other metals in September with most grades continuing to fetch pricing at August’s levels. Though demand for aluminum scrap is also rather low, supply concerns continue to balance the equation.

The recycled paper market was mixed in September. Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) dropped $5 per ton in the Southeast but increased an average of $5 in the Northeast. Pricing held steady in the Midwest and West. Mill demand is the driver behind these regional discrepancies.

SOP pricing fell $10 in the Southeast, dropped $5 in Western markets, and remained unchanged in the Northeast and Midwest.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: August 2013

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While the overall economy continues to show some encouraging signs this summer, the recycling market enjoyed a stable August with most categories holding near their July price levels. Though ferrous scrap witnessed slight weakening, nonferrous scrap and paper enjoyed a more fruitful month.

Ferrous scrap tags were largely unchanged from July. Notably, HMS and busheling grades held steady though shredded auto scrap lost some ground with tags in some Midwest regions down an average of $5 per gross ton.

Prime copper scrap tags jumped $0.10-$0.20 per pound from mid-July due to a continued scarcity of material. Secondary grades enjoyed much more modest gains.

Aluminum scrap prices were largely unchanged month-on-month or saw minimal upward movement ($0.01-$0.02/lb gains).

Prices for both OCC cardboard (old corrugated containers) and SOP (sorted office paper) held steady in the Southeast. OCC pricing was actually up $5 per ton in most other regions, however, and pricing for SOP was up around $10 in the Northeast.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: July 2013

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There is a sense of optimism in the recycling market as Summer continues to heat up. Most markets enjoyed a strong July with only nonferrous scrap refusing to join the fun.

Pricing for ferrous metal scrap rose substantially in July. Tags for ferrous categories increased an average of $20 per gross ton with some categories up as much as $30. It was the first time since March that ferrous pricing displayed real growth.

Nonferrous scrap prices did not behave as optimistically as ferrous. Copper scrap ticked slightly downward over the course of the month and most red metal categories settled a few cents below mid-June levels. Aluminum scrap also edged slightly lower with similar losses to that of its nonferrous cousin on a per pound basis.

The recovered paper market witnessed gains, however, with OCC cardboard reaching pricing levels unseen since April 2012 and office paper also ticking upward after a slight period of stagnancy. OCC (old corrugated containers) increased for the second consecutive month and settled $10 higher in the Southeast market. SOP (sorted office paper) jumped $5 per ton.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: May 2013

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The recycling market traveled a bumpy road in May, with ferrous scrap prices continuing to lose ground while nonferrous displayed strength.

Ferrous scrap tags fell approximately $20 per gross ton across all major grades and regions in May. This marks the second straight month of price erosion. Most industry experts are expecting further decreases in June, a traditionally weak month for scrap. If those decreases come to fruition it will mark the first time since April 2012 that ferrous tags have slipped three consecutive months. The market weakness is largely tied to the lack of foreign demand, though gathering momentum in the housing and transportation industries may help alleviate some of this concern going forward.

Nonferrous scrap enjoyed a more positive month. Copper scrap prime grades jumped approximately $0.15 per pound from mid-April to the middle of this month. Tepid demand is still a concern, however, but the scarcity of material continues to buttress the market.

Aluminum scrap is also struggling on the demand side, but supply continues to remain low. Aluminum prices held stead from April’s levels.

The recovered paper market witnessed pricing decreases in May. OCC (old corrugated containers) dropped $5 per ton in the Southeast and Northeast while falling $10 in the Midwest and on the West Coast. SOP (sorted office paper) decreased $10 in the Southeast and Midwest and dropped $5 in the Northeast.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: March 2013

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The recycling market enjoyed a solid month in March with ferrous scrap’s improving fortunes leading the way. Nonferrous scrap and recycled paper both remained stable.

Pricing for ferrous scrap increased in all domestic regions in March and reached yearly highs. The Southeast witnessed increases of $15-$30 per gross ton on major categories, while increases in the Midwest were between $20-$40. Though some strengthening was expected, the pricing increases were larger than most analysts’ forecasts. Market participants look for ferrous pricing to remain relatively unchanged in April.

Nonferrous scrap did not fare as well but did display stability. Aluminum scrap and copper scrap both traded at similar levels to February’s tags. Though nonferrous scrap is traditionally volatile, both aluminum and copper seem well positioned in the short term.

Aluminum will benefit from a strengthening automotive industry and a slowly thawing housing market. Low copper scrap supply may lead to rising prices for the red metal going forward.

Pricing in the recovered paper market also displayed strength. Prices for old corrugated containers (OCC) improved $10 per ton while sorted office paper (SOP) remained unchanged.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: February 2013

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The recycling market was rather mixed in February with ferrous scrap the biggest loser. Nonferrous metals and paper enjoyed relatively stable months by comparison.

Ferrous scrap slid backwards in February across all domestic markets. Most grades slid between $10-$20 per gross ton from their January levels. Market participants point to an abundance of supply as the major influence behind the pricing drops. Supply of prime grades, shredder feed and unprepared were categorized as high but should thin out in the coming months. Expectations for a price bump in March abound, however, with most estimates of increases around the $20/GT mark.

Nonferrous scrap metals enjoyed a better month. Copper scrap tags inched upward slightly, averaging around $0.02-$0.04 per pound depending on the category. Aluminum scrap tags held steady.

Demand for copper alloys have increased recently and as a result more mills are buying scrap material.

The recovered paper market was rather quiet in February. Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) and SOP (sorted office paper) remained unchanged from January levels. This marks the third consecutive month of stagnant prices for OCC and the fifth consecutive month for SOP.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: January 2013

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Scrap metal prices have historically heated up in the opening month of the year just as the temperatures begin to drop. However, the traditional increases were nowhere to be found as the calendar flipped this year. Almost all scrap metal and recovered paper pricing remained unchanged or witnessed minimal increases from December’s levels.

Ferrous scrap pricing was expected to rise but largely remained stagnant in January. All the major grades (including heavy melt steel, busheling and shredded auto scrap) remained at December levels across most domestic markets. Minimal increases occurred in some coastal regions due to export dynamics. Many market participants are expecting another sideways month in February, though a few are predicting $10-$20 per gross ton decreases.

Prices for nonferrous scrap metals performed slightly better this month. Major copper scrap categories inched upward between $0.03-$0.04 per pound. Most analysts are still bullish on copper scrap pricing going forward but the general trend will be heavily influenced by Chinese demand for the red metal scrap.

Aluminum scrap was up on average between $0.01-$0.02/lb in January. Most experts also view aluminum scrap’s future optimistically. These observers point to expected demand from the automobile and aerospace industries and from Chinese consumers as the primary factors behind such optimism.

Recovered paper behaved similarly to ferrous scrap in January as pricing for old corrugated containers (OCC) and sorted office paper (SOP) remained unchanged from the previous month.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: December 2012 and Year in Review

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2012 is now in the books and here at InStream we are so grateful for our wonderful customers and vendor partners! Here’s to another great year of  green savings and increased revenue!

December was a relatively quiet month for ferrous scrap. Major grades traded at November levels, a slight disappointment on the heels of price increase projections. Market experts expect prices to follow historical trends and rise in January though they warn the increases may be modest. Look for further strengthening in February before the uncertainty of Spring begins a new period of volatility.

Ferrous scrap underwent a tumultuous year and tags finish 2012 at much lower levels than at the conclusion of 2011. Heavy Melt Scrap prices on average dropped $50 per gross ton over the course of the year. Pricing for shredded auto scrap was down $60/GT. Busheling was the unluckiest grade, losing approximately $110/GT over the course of 2012.

Copper scrap pricing ticked upward slightly in December, with increases between $0.01 and $0.05 per pound. Scrap pricing for the red metal finished approximately 4% higher than last year.

Aluminum scrap did not gain as much momentum and remained relatively unchanged from November’s prices as most grades rose $0.01/lb. Aluminum echoed copper by posting an overall increase in pricing of approximately 4% across the entirety of 2012.

Recycled cardboard (OCC) pricing surged $15 per ton in December due to increased demand from paper mills and limited supply. The latest hike pushed OCC prices in the Southeast back to the same levels as 2011’s year end. Cardboard tags jumped in the Spring before a swoon in late summer sent pricing into the red for the year. A late Autumn rally restored order.

Pricing for sorted office paper (SOP) dropped slightly ($5/ton) in December but finished 2012 approximately $10/ton higher than when the year began.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: November 2012

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Ferrous scrap pricing in November rebounded from the dismal state of a month earlier to settle back near September’s levels with $50 per gross ton increases common across scrap grades and across domestic regions.

Very low mill inventories combined with minimal scrap production has created an environment where scrap tags have gained traction. With production levels expected to remain low due to scheduled outages in the manufacturing community, the uncertainty of supply will continue to hover over the scrap market.

Some market analysts are speculating a further $20 per gross ton increase in December though this opinion is far from a general consensus. The expected influx of material due to the ravages of Hurricane Sandy may alter the dynamics of the market somewhat but the impact has yet to be fully realized.

Copper scrap took a different path than that of ferrous in November with prices dropping on average $0.20 per pound from October.  Aluminum scrap pricing remained relatively unchanged month-on-month.

Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) increased $15 per ton in the Southeast market in November. The price increase was the largest since March. Pricing for SOP (sorted office paper) did not change.

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: October 2012

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Another month, another round of ferrous scrap price decreases.

Pricing for ferrous scrap slipped an average of $50 per gross ton across all domestic regions in October continuing a trend of price degradation that began in late August.

Market analysts point to limited demand from domestic and offshore buyers as the main reason behind the pricing weakness. Steel mills continue to require very little scrap due to tepid demand from virgin steel producers and their end-use consumers. Global economic concerns also continue to plague the scrap complex. Inventory levels are thin, however, and ferrous scrap prices have most likely bottomed out.

Copper scrap pricing also witnessed decreases, though far less dramatic than that of ferrous. Aluminum also trended downward, albeit slightly.

These decreases in non-ferrous scrap will probably continue until the end of the year due to scrap dealers’ already massive inventories. Without a substantial increase in domestic or Chinese demand the non-ferrous slump looks set to continue.

Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) ticked upwards around $5 per ton. Pricing for sorted office paper, behaving much differently, dropped approximately $20 per ton.

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.