Recycling Market Snapshot: December 2013 and Year in Review


InStream Environmental would like to wish all our valued customers and friends a very Happy New Year!

2013 was a wonderful year for our team and we truly enjoyed working closely with our clients to bring green savings and increased revenue. We expect continued growth in the manufacturing sector and hope that 2014 is another great year for us and our partners.

The recycling market was mixed in December, with continued strength in ferrous scrap and some weakness in other categories.

December prices for ferrous scrap jumped $10-20 per gross ton for major grades of obsolete and prime scrap. Tight supply and weather-related transportation issues helped buttress the pricing strength.

Industry participants forecast further increases in January, especially with regard to obsolete grades. Increased foreign demand and steady domestic mill demand should help ferrous prices remain strong in the short term.

Pricing for ferrous slipped from the start of 2013 into the summer before gathering strength in Autumn and ending ’13 at higher levels than when the year began.

Copper scrap pricing enjoyed robust gains over the monthly period with most grades settling $0.12-0.20 per pound higher than in November. Copper scrap’s renewed strength is tied to a resurgence in Chinese demand. Exports of copper scrap during the last few months of ’13 reached the considerable levels of 2011.

Copper scrap pricing slipped considerably over the course of the first five months of ’13 before displaying stability in the final few months.

Aluminum scrap prices slipped a few cents per pound for most grades in December. Though Chinese demand for aluminum scrap, like that of copper, continued to gain strength in the final few months of ’13, an oversupply of the material may keep the market slightly depressed in the short term.

Aluminum scrap prices trended downward in ’13, with only the first few months suggesting any real strength. April onward displayed slow deterioration.

Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) was down $15 per ton in the Southeast in December to set the lowest pricing of the entire year. OCC was down $10 in most other regions.

Though the average price for OCC was higher in ’13 than’12, pricing actually enters 2014 at a lower point than it entered 2013.

SOP pricing remained unchanged in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and in the West Coast markets. Pricing in the Northeast dropped $10. Pricing for SOP was strongest early in the year on the back of a wonderful 2012. Small upticks in July and August could not reverse the general downward trend.


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.


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