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Scrap Metal Prices and Information in the US Economy

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

scrap metal

Scrap metal prices and information are really heating up the news lately. With global and local economic panic setting in across the board, people are worried about what that will do to their scrap metal income. Today we’re going to discuss the two main areas of scrap metal recycling, rebar and aluminum, then we’ll touch on some basic tips and information in the metal world. Anyone in the recycling business knows how minor fluctuations in the market can greatly affect their wallets. So we’re doing the research for you and helping you understand just what this entire buzz is going to mean to you.

Rebar Prices


Rebar is a major contributor and we’ll start our scrap metal prices and information here. Rebar is the metal bar most commonly used to reinforced concrete for building purposes. There are numerous sizes and diameters of rebar, depending on the job. The grades also range from the ASTM A28 grade for concrete and masonry, to the ASTM A996 for railway use. The purchase price of rebar is averaging around $850 per metric ton. The current price for recycled metal rebar is holding steady at $0.387 per pound. There was a sharp incline since the beginning of the year, but things have leveled out as of now.

Also, word on the street is that the pricing will continue to hold steady for months to come. Reasons for the sideways move in most scrap metal prices and information is that this is one area of the global market that’s not seeing much change. Local mills are holding steady in their production rates. Exporting, especially for the small rebar grades, are still strong. Also weather can be attributed to some of the flat lined pricing charts. Some of the shady dealers and peddlers just weren’t going out in the heat to hustle like they used to.

Turkey has been in the news a lot lately when it comes to scrap metal prices and information. They are the figurehead of the steel import/export market. Rebar and other metals aren’t moving as they used to across the ocean because of cargo prices. With Turkey bidding $455 per metric ton, cost of shipping has suppliers deadlocked at $465 per metric ton. Therefore with this bidding war firmly in place, export numbers are expected to remain constant for months to come.


On the other hand, good news for the United States in regards to East Asian markets. Scrap metal pricing and information given regarding these exports show a $7 per metric ton increase in sales since June. South Korea’s recent purchase of 35,000 tons at $494 each gave the United States wiggle room in negotiations with East Asia. Another thing working in our favor is their lack of patience with Japan and its slower move toward price reduction than the rest of the global economic powerhouses.

Aluminum Pricing


Aluminum is the bread and butter for most recycling industries. Scrap metal pricing and information sources show that aluminum is holding steady as the highest per pound price of all the base metals other than copper and nickel. Copper however has seen a constant decline in the previous months, down to under $4 per pound. Aluminum has been hovering around $1.42 per pound for the past month. Over 12 months it’s been on a steady incline from under $1 per pound since last September.

People concerned with aluminum pricing are generally in the aluminum can market. In the past year they’ve seen a significant jump from barely $0.70 per pound, to the current price which has doubled. Many Americans used recycled cans to supplement their income over the past few years during this recession. This has also led to a 12% increase in overall recycled aluminum products on the market place.

One great boost for aluminum these days is the recent news that the government is allowing NALCO, the National Aluminum Company Limited, to mine for coal in Orissa. This coal is to be used in two of NALCO’s Angul plant facilities. This should dramatically cut down on costs since up until now NALCO has been forced to fuel their production plants with imported coal. Having the mine so close to the smelting plant will save time and resources, which can then be passed down to the consumer.

Around The Scrap Metal World

Scrap metal prices and information around the world couldn’t be more interesting than they are at this time. For one thing scrap metal theft has really been running rampant all over the US and the world. With these hard times hitting everyone a little too close to home, it’s no wonder we’ve seen the rise in theft. But to put it in perspective, we’re seeing a 7% rise in theft over the past 3 years, and that amounts to 360 million pounds being lost each year. For anyone in the scrap industry, this is leading to a much higher cost of business.

World Business

Sometimes bad news for other countries can unfortunately be good news for the United States. As we mentioned earlier, Japan is having a hard time reconciling their scrap prices to coincide with the rest of the world. This is difficult for Japan, since their recent nuclear disaster has put a major toll on their economy. However, pity has no place in business and Asian markets are taking their money elsewhere, like to the United States.


Generally scrap metal prices and information will mirror the rest of the economy in terms of the normal rise and fall of business. As you’ve seen from our previous examples with rebar, aluminum, and global news this isn’t always the case. The United States has been on a wonder upturn in the global steel and metal recycling market. Our export business is really taking off in the month or so and is expected to continue. This should soon have some bearing on the stock markets. Also, with the rise in aluminum cans, anyone who’s been hoarding piles in their backyard may want to consider heading to their local recycling mill.



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