Scrap Metal Prices

The price of scrap metal materials changes frequently, call us now at
(847) 233-0300 for a fast and accurate quote. Please have ready the type of material you have and approximately how much you have.

 

Cozzi Recycling prides itself on credibility, integrity, and optimum pricing, so we utilize the latest technology in the scrap metal recycling industry to ensure top-dollar for your materials.

Factors That Affect Pricing

There are also a number of intrinsic factors that determine the price of scrap metals. Higher quality materials with greater purity always fetch a higher spot price than lower quality materials and alloys. Some of the intrinsic factors that influence the quality and price of scrap metals include:

Grade

Some metals are distinguished by a tiered grading system, with higher quality tiers fetching a higher price. For example, copper has four tiers: bare bright (the best), #1, #2, and #3.

Type

Many scrap metals are labeled with a combination of the type and grade of metal, with the type usually referring to what the metal was originally used for. For example, copper is separated into wire, tubing, and roofing.

Clean vs Dirty

When it comes to scrap metal, the term “clean” usually refers to whether or not the material has any attachments such as rubber, concrete, etc. You’ll also want to make sure there aren’t any toxic chemicals or corrosion.

External Factors That Influence Pricing

Much like the stock market, scrap metal prices rise and fall with market conditions and can change intraday. Some of the more significant external factors that influence the price of scrap metal include:

International Markets

Scrap metal is one of the largest exports for the United States, so the spot price of scrap metal you get in Chicago has a lot to do with the market conditions in major foreign markets like China. If there’s an industrial boom in China, scrap prices will rise with the increased demand. If there’s a major recession in the European Union, that will likely hurt scrap metal prices in the United States. One of the best indicators of international metal prices is the London Metal Exchange (LME), the world’s largest futures and options exchange for metals.

Industry Demand

Scrap metals are recycled and reused extensively in the construction, technology, and electronics industries, so the price of scrap metal is largely influenced by market conditions in these industries. For example, when the construction industry slows down and doesn’t need as much iron and steel, the price of scrap iron and steel will go down. On the other hand, when the residential construction industry picks up and people are buying more new homes, the price of metals like copper will go up.

Location

If you Google the price of any scrap metal and compare prices across the United States, you’ll notice that spot quotes will vary from city to city. Sometimes the difference is as little as a few cents, but it’s not uncommon to see substantial differentials. Generally speaking, large cities near major transportation hubs and ports have lower transportation costs, and that can translate into slightly higher scrap prices for customers. Regional demand also impacts local prices. When car factories in Detroit shut down, that will hurt scrap steel prices in the surrounding states. Likewise, when Coca-Cola amps up production in Atlanta, the surrounding area will see a rise in aluminum prices.

Cost of Virgin Metals

Virgin metals are materials that are made with new metals rather than recycled metals. When the price of a particular virgin metal goes up, the price of that type of scrap metal will rise with it.

Energy Costs

Producing virgin metals consumes significantly more energy than recycling metals. When energy costs in a region go up, the price of scrap metal in that area will also go up.