Demand for Scrap Metals is Raising Prices Again, At Last

Date: December 7, 2020

Source: News Room

A recent uptick in prices for scrap metals along with a booming market for virgin metals signals a growing market. Prices for copper have risen to their highest level in almost eight years. Iron ore, the main ingredient of steel, is one of the best-performing assets in 2020. Other raw materials, such as aluminum and zinc, have added roughly 15% since the end of September and 40% or more since mid-May.

Demand for scrap metals should be helped by an increased focus on sustainability as more companies seek to tout their use of recycled material in their products and structures. Secondary aluminum production has a carbon footprint five to 25 times lower than primary metal production.

Industrial metals are the building blocks of construction. Their prices are particularly sensitive to manufacturing activity in China because the country accounts for roughly half of global demand for copper and other materials. The faster-than-expected recovery there has sparked a reversal in prices, which had languished in recent years due to trade tensions. The Standardization Administration of China recently approved previously published definitions for grades of ferrous and stainless-steel scrap that will reclassify them from a "waste" to a "resource."

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin