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Scrap Prices Growth During a Pandemic

Posted 17th March, 2021

It is almost 12 months to the day that Boris Johnson announced that the 23/3/20 that because of the Covid-19 pandemic all non-essential workers were " To stay at home" and all non-essential shops and businesses were to close.

This news which had been on the cards for several weeks previously was not welcome news for anyone with a business to run and the scrap metal industry was no different. Doors were to close and scales were to remain unused for the next 12 weeks.

There have also been other factors in play during this period. President Trump lost the election to Biden. We are all aware of how Trump was affecting the prices with his trade war with China. We will get back to this later in the article.

So how has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the UK scrap metal industry?

According to the London Metal Exchange, these are the prices for the metals in the period spanning 16/3/20 and 16/3/21.

Scrap Steel


$265 per tonne on 16/3/20 followed by an increase to $440 per tonne on 15/3/21. That's a rather impressive 66% increase in 12 months.

 

Copper


$5210 per tonne on 16/3/20 followed by an increase to $8965 per tonne on 15/3/21. That's an even more impressive 72% increase in 12 months.

 

Aluminium


$1640 per tonne on 16/3/20 followed by an increase to $2174 per tonne on 15/3/21. That's still a respectable 32% increase in the 12 months.

 

Lead


$1684 per tonne on 16/3/20 followed by an increase to $1943 per tonne on 15/3/21. The lowest increase of all but a 15% increase in 12 months is most welcome.

 So all in all the scrap metal prices have shown mostly positive movement over the last 12 months. There have been some dips throughout the year but they didn't take a long to continue their upward trend. The best climber from the metals was copper which reached highs not seen in 10 years.

The red metal has been making steady progress on the back of US elections which saw Trump lose to Biden which strengthened the relationship with China. Labour negotiations in Chile and Peru, better than anticipated growth of industrial activity as well as robust metal demand by China, global COVID-19 vaccination rollout resulting in an anticipated rebound of the global economy, and a weaker dollar value.

These have all helped make 2020/21 a great year for the scrap prices. Long may this continue.

 

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