One of the best ways to find prices for scrap copper is via the Internet. The World Wide Web provides one of the best venues for the most up-to-date prices for non-ferrous metals. Because of this, it is one of the best resources for ensuring that sales or purchases of copper are resulting in fair prices.
Current prices of scrap copper have been trending at a steadily rising pace across the different copper grades. No.1 heavy scrap copper has been leading the way at USD $3.65 per pound. At the low end of the pricing scale, copper/aluminum radiator ends is selling for USD $0.54 per pound. These prices reflect truckload or TL pricing. Less than truckload or LTL pricing is generally about USD $0.15 per pound less. Projections by the London Metal Exchange are predicting a further rise in scrap copper up to nearly USD $4.00 per pound.
The number one factor influencing the price of scrap copper is the level of demand and the short supply of mined copper. While scrap copper prices remain at about half that of refined copper, the expectation is that supply will continue to remain low and further boost prices. Scrap copper prices are also affected by the overall world economy. The automotive, electrical and housing industries are the primary users of copper and as such, they also help provide a barometer that gauges the price of copper by how much of it they use.
Other factors that can affect the price of scrap copper generally reside within the mining industry, itself. Strikes and labor negotiations can have various influences on the price of copper, but current inventories of copper act as a buffer and help to stabilize the market. Advances in technology such as fiber optics compete with copper and can also negatively affect its price.
Recycling and Reusing Scrap Copper
One of the most intriguing aspects about copper is that it is 100% recyclable. Many estimates show that nearly 80% of all copper that has ever been mined is still in existence. This percentage is much higher than that of aluminum, which is used as the measure for the effectiveness of recycling. Scrap copper can be reused over and over again and nearly any product made with copper can be recycled. Obviously, this makes scrap copper one of the more valuable recyclables available today. Because of today’s sustainability concerns, it only makes sense to recycle scrap copper.
Copper as a ‘Renewable’ Resource
Because copper can be reused and recycled again and again without a loss in quality, it could almost be considered a renewable resource. Copper reserves are a finite commodity, however, so recycling this metal is very important. Recycling scrap copper is environmentally sound and under the right circumstances, recycling scrap copper can be a great business investment. The returns on this investment aren’t just monetary, either. Reduction in landfill waste, savings in energy consumption and the impact on the economy are also excellent incentives to recycle this valuable commodity.
In this day and age, recycling needs to be more than just a buzzword. The benefits that are provided by recycling scrap copper far outweigh any negatives that might be associated with it. Anyone who recycles copper, whether you represent a charity, business-for-profit or are an individual, is not only bringing in a bit of cash flow, but is also doing what’s right for the environment.