Recycling Market Snapshot: Ferrous metals trending higher, OCC unchanged

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Ferrous prices continue to inch upward as the new year unfolds due to strong demand from mills and a perceived scarcity of material. The normal scrap flow problems tied to weather have not emerged so far this winter due to an unseasonably temperate period in the U.S.

Many market players are anticipating ferrous scrap prices to fall back in February but that view can hardly be characterized as consensus.

Nonferrous prices have been far more volatile (as usual). Copper scrap pricing fell in January’s first week before gaining back all their lost ground and then some this week. Aluminum scrap prices have behaved similarly. Tags fell from the start of December to the year’s end, but small gains have become evident since the calendar flipped. Many experts are pointing to improved demand from China as the major impetus for renewed strength.

Stainless scrap values crept up slowly over the course of December, a trend that has continued so far in January.

OCC prices continue to hold steady. Pricing for cardboard has remained stagnant since the beginning of November.

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