What is Going On with the Record-High Scrap Copper Prices?

If you have any scrap copper from your business, you will probably notice that 2021 was a record year for copper prices. 2022 has also been following the lead. If your company buys scrap copper, then you’ve certainly noticed that copper is more expensive than ever.

Copper prices rose to all-time highs globally in 2021, and then reached a record high in March 2022. Prices briefly exceeded $5.00 per pound. For example, one metric ton (or 10512 ) of copper cost $10,512 , a 130 percent increase in price over March 2020. The upward trend in copper prices is not expected to last forever. In fact, the World Bank estimates that it will drop to $7,500 per tonne by 2022.

The amount you get for scrap metal will depend on where you live. However, has shown that scrap copper could fetch more than $2/pound in late 2020. Copper scrap has seen prices exceeding $3 and even $4 per pound over the past year.

Why is Scrap Copper getting more expensive?

img alt=”Coils made from scrap copper wire ready for recycling.” src=”https://millerrecycling.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Scrap-copper-300×199.jpg”/>Copper is always in great demand. Copper is a great conductor of heat, electricity and is widely used in construction. Copper can be bent, flattened, and formed into any shape that a manufacturer requires. Scrap copper, like all recyclable metals is highly valued because it can be recycled repeatedly without degrading. Scrap copper is also more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than mining for virgin copper.

Copper has been valuable and important for centuries. So why has its price soared in recent years? Although it’s a complicated global market, there are some key reasons for the increase.

  • China is a big consumer of imported copper scrap. China imported 6.68 million tonnes of copper scrap in 2020, a record high. This has helped to drive scrap copper prices in sydney up. But the tide is changing. Despite being significant, copper imports fell slightly in 2021. However, it is expected that China will continue to decrease its demand for copper.
  • Prices have risen due to supply chain logistics. As with every other industry that relies on global shipping, the shipping crisis and disruptions to the supply chain have had an impact on scrap copper. Copper prices are rising because it takes longer and costs more to transport around the globe.
  • Copper discoveries are falling. S&P Global analysis shows a declining trend in copper discoveries over the past decade. This means that miners don’t find as much copper ore now as they did in the past. The price of existing copper is higher because of a slower supply of virgin materials. Experts are hopeful that there will be a recovery, despite the fact that copper discovery slowdowns could prove to be a long-term problem. The International Copper Study Group made predictions in mid-2021 that global copper mine production would increase by 3.5 percent and 3.7 percent respectively over 2021 and 2022.
  • The copper stockpiles are at an all-time low. The decline in copper mining has led to a decrease in copper supply over the past decade. (The 16-year high copper inventory in London Metal Exchange warehouses all over the globe reached in 2021. Copper prices rose naturally as copper supplies dried up, while demand was high. This trend won’t continue, however, as increased mine production will produce more copper to meet the demand.

The bottom line for American companies that produce scrap metal is this: Don’t sit on your copper scrap. Profit from a strong scrap copper market and turn that precious metal into cash at high prices.

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