Six Month Scrap Price Review

Posted 4th July, 2019

Here we are at the halfway point of 2019 and time to have a look at what everyone will likely say has been one of the toughest periods in the last few years. Before we look at the reasons for the recent spell of industry hardship lets, look at how the prices have fared over the previous six months and compare those with prices of recent years.


The aluminium price had been on a steep decline for the last eight months of 2018, and this has continued through the first six months of this year. The year opened at $1857 and continued the pattern of 2018 by falling to its current position (at time of writing) of $1773 a tonne. That is a loss of 4.5% in the first six months of 2019.

High - $1922 on 20/3/19
Current - $1773 on 28/6/19
Low - $1719 on 17/6/19


The copper price has been falling since the start of 2018. Except for a sharp rise on June 18 that saw the value go higher than it had been for several previous years. 2019 started low but began almost instantly to climb before hitting its peak in March before starting the downward trend it has been stuck on since then. The year for Copper opened at $5838 before a steady increase over the next couple of months to its highest point of $6570 at the beginning of March. The price then flat-lined until May before plummeting down to its lowest point of $5755. That is a drop of 1.4%.

High - $6570 on 1/3/19
Current - £5970 on 28/6/19
Low - $5755 on 17/6/19


The lead market has suffered just the same as the other non-ferrous metals. The lead market had a very bad 2018 with an extremely steep slope across the year. The non-ferrous metal started 2019 at $1974 before reaching its highest point of $2153 at the end of Feb. From there the metal has dramatically dropped to its lowest position of $1766 in mid-May before climbing slightly to its current area of $1913. Across the for the first half of this year that is a loss of 3% across the year so far.

High - $2153 on 28/2/19
Current - $1913 on 28/6/19
Low - $1766 on 14/5/19


The steel market has seen some sharp growth over noticeably two periods and then a steady downward slope back down again. The year opened at its lowest point of $278. A month later rapid climb of $40 a tonne saw the prices climb to the years highest point when it hit $335. Immediately after that, the price began to slope down to its current position of $288. That is a gain of $3.5%.

Note: The day after writing this article the price rose overnight by a very pleasing 6.5% (Thank you Mr Trump!)

High - $335 on 6/2/19
Current - $288 on 28/6/19
Low - $278 on 2/1/19



Scrap Industry News

British Steel

On the 22/5 this year British Steel collapsed, putting more than 4,000 jobs directly at risk and threatening a further 20,000 in the company's supply chain.

The company, which is one of the leading British steelwork companies, has been put into compulsory liquidation after talks broke down between multiple parties who were trying to come up with a rescue plan.
Was it the fault of Brexit? Was it the fault of some bad investment decisions? Whatever the reason the thousands of people losing their jobs and the supply companies that are to be affected will want to see an enquiry as to why......and soon.

G20 & Trade Talks

The G20 sees world leaders talking about many global issues. The ones that we are most interested in are the trade talks between Mr Trump and Mr Xi Jinping. The result of these talks saw the steel price go up by a satisfying 6.5% overnight. Further tariffs have been put on hold for the time being but don't hold your breath as there are still tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods which is seeing consumer and trade price hikes across the globe. The two largest of the world's superpowers still have much to agree on.


Who can forget the big elephant in the room? Brexit the very thing that is being blamed for everything since it was first mentioned all those years ago. Thought to be one of the main reasons behind the collapse of British Steel.
I firmly believe that the delays in going through with Brexit are one of the major causes of the recent slump across a wide range of industries. The sooner it all gets agreed, and we follow through with what the people wanted, the sooner there will be more confidence in the markets. People then spend money on things, these things need to be made, and the demand for scrap metal grows.


Recent posts