Chicago’s scrap metal market has given way to downward pressure with some ferrous and non-ferrous commodity prices retreating at the onset of October.  After much delay US ferrous scrap metal trade finally kicked off on October 6th with regional inconsistency as individual cities have made distinct price moves.

In Chicago, ferrous prime grades including Bundles and Busheling dropped $20 per gross ton, Shred increased $10 per ton and cut grades and Steel Turnings settled even to September’s prices. Ongoing mill outages, and cheaper pig iron prices have added to the downward pressure impacting prime grades for the second month this year.  Prime grades have decreased a total of  11.29 percent between September and October.   Some steel mills are opting to use less expensive pig iron instead of prime scrap grades in their mix.

Non-ferrous scrap metal prices have also given way to downward pressure. Experts are pointing to the newfound fears of the Covid-19’s Delta-Variant and the shortage of overseas containers which is slowing economic growth around the world.

At the onset of October, stainless steel and aluminum scrap metal prices dropped 2-3 percent. The stainless steel scrap market is trending downward with continued weakness in LME nickel prices. Copper and brass scrap metal prices are down closer to 5 percent. A drop in Comex copper prices has led to a slight lowering of discounts for some copper scrap items, while brass scrap prices fell.  Despite the softening in prices, demand for non-ferrous scrap metal remains steady and scheduled deliveries to non-ferrous mills and smelters are only out three to four weeks.  These are standard delivery lead times.

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