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.