Free Fall - June's Scrap Metal Market

US scrap markets are free falling into the summer months. What originally felt like a soft sideways ferrous scrap market, quickly turned into steep drop with some commodities taking a harder hit.  Prime grades put up resistance to downward pressure, but still managed to drop $75 per gross ton.  Lack of export caused cut grades and steel turnings to fall $50 per gross ton. Non-ferrous scrap metal grades such as stainless steel and aluminum are also following suit as nickel continues its descend to pre-Covid numbers.

BL Duke Joliet Barge Docks

BL Duke’s Joliet, IL Dual Barge Docks

Ferrous Scrap Market

Chicago’s scrap metal market has developed to be the weakest in the nation evident in the delayed market posting and the $50 – $75 per gross ton price free fall.  Planned mill outages and lean mill orders have handicapped local scrap metal dealers limited to truck transport.  BL Duke, however, will leverage our barge and rail efficiencies to move June’s tons outside of our region.

“In months like these, our barge and rail access is invaluable,” states Lou Plucinski, President. “Being able to reach other regions and export consumers is what sets us apart from our competitors.”

Non-Ferrous Scrap Market

Non-ferrous scrap markets seem to have found the floor now that aluminum and stainless steel scrap metal prices are trading without change.  The prior six weeks had seen stainless steel and aluminum prices on a consistent downward spiral due to soft demand, inflation and a weak LME.

Copper Scrap MarketThe copper market is the only bright spot in the scrap metal industry. Copper, viewed by some as an indicator of global economic health, jumped 4.4% on Monday to hit its highest price since April 27 at $9,916.19 metric tons or $4.49/lb, on strong China demand prospects.

Director of Non-ferrous, George O’Brien states, “China is relaxing some pandemic restrictions and is expected to open back up. Traders are approaching with caution and are looking for more signs that easing restrictions will increase demand.”


BL Duke

Have locations in other cities? Streamline operations to a single vendor. Learn more about BL Duke’s National Scrap Management.