Perspectives

Scrap Metal Market: September 2018

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Scrap metal market falls in September as political uncertainty surrounding the steel industry rolls on.

Zack Lasky

The scrap metal market continues to fall as the summer of 2018 nears its end.  It seems as though the price surge following the announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs is wearing off, though scrap steel values remain elevated over the past couple of years.  Across the nation the average price per ton of crushed autobodies dropped almost 5% compared to the previous month.  However, at $202/ton the scrap metal market remains above $200 for the sixth consecutive month.  Not since the second half of 2014 have prices remained above $200 for half a year.  In a year over year comparison to 2017, the scrap metal market is greater than 17% higher so clearly still working in a healthier market than we had been.

Regionally, there was no particular part of the country that performed significantly stronger than the rest.  Scrap steel in all zones suffered from lower values with Zone 1 (west) with the greatest drop in prices.  The market in the west dropped over 7% while the southeast region or Zone 5 had the next largest drop at just over 6%.

Steel Market News: East coast braces for Hurricane Florence and what potential impacts the storm could have on the steel industry.

As the east coast braces for the impact of Hurricane Florence we wishing and hoping that everyone who lives in the area stays safe.  About 8% of the U.S. total steel capacity comes from mills in the path of the storm so we will have to monitor potential effects on the market in that area.  At the very least a storm of this magnitude presents significant supply chain disruption.

In other industry news, it sounds as falling scrap prices may be influenced by trade tensions involving Turkey.  In our last Market & Metals update, we covered the doubling of steeling and aluminum tariffs against Turkey.  They are the largest importer of scrap in the world but recently have been turning to more domestic production based on more competitive pricing.  With all the political uncertainty surrounding this market the outlook for the rest of 2018 remains cloudy.  You can stay in the conversation right here though and follow for updates on the national scrap metal market and global steel news.

Zack LaskyScrap Metal Market: September 2018

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