Everything You Want to Know About Recycling Aluminum - aluminum recycling

How Much is Aluminum Per Pound?

How much is aluminum per pound? What is the range of aluminum prices? When is the best time to sell aluminum scrap? These are all common questions we get, and today we’re compiling all of the answers together into one convenient source. 

Although this post deals mostly with the range you will see in selling aluminum scrap, we also share some helpful tips for when to when aluminum sells at a higher price, and who pays these prices locally. This is one post you can’t afford to miss!

So, let’s start with the most popular question of all.

How Much is Aluminum Per Pound?

Like most materials, the price some are willing to pay for aluminum varies. So, how much is aluminum per pound?

Let’s turn to Statista.com for the answer:

“In 2020, the average market spot price of an aluminum ingot was 89 U.S. cents per pound.”

Knowledge of the trending price of aluminum helps professionals like scrappers and those in construction to get the best deal on their recycles.

More than a simple daily figure, this article helps more by giving insight into how the market and demand for the aluminum range. From there, you can, as an experienced professional, determine for yourself whether you should sell or store your scrap until better prices arise.

A knowledge of what the range in price of aluminum is will give you this insight. It also tells the when—when you should hit the market with your aluminum scrap. What remains is the who—who you should sell your aluminum to in the local area.

Aluminum scrap metal - aluminum recycling

What is the range of aluminum prices?

Today, aluminum prices occupy a range trending around .35 cents per pound. In 1990, for example, the price of aluminum floated around half that price. Overall, aluminum is on a general upward trend though prices fluctuate greatly month to month. (We’ll get to more on what affects the price of aluminum per pound in a moment)

Due to rises and falls in the amount of aluminum scrap sold, prices fall and rise as well. While aluminum keeps afloat, it is a steady investment of time and energy (unlike precious copper).

What affects the prices of aluminum per pound?

There are several different factors that ultimately play a big role in the price of aluminum per pound. One of the biggest factors, of course, is where and how you sell it. That’s why it’s important to work with scrap metal recyclers in Fort Pierce you can trust!

Along with who you entrust to buy your aluminum, there are several other things that affect the price of aluminum per pound.

One such factor is the weather. In the winter, aluminum often sells for less. This is because of a few things, including difficulty transporting it, busy holidays, and finding less scrap metal outside because not as many construction projects take place in cold weather. 

Interestingly, the price of aluminum is also highly dependent on the cost of electricity. 

Consider these insights from Kloeckner Metals:

“The price of aluminum is strongly dependent on the price and availability of electricity. The U.S. Aluminum Trade Groups estimate that the cost of electricity accounts for 30% of the total price of aluminum. In China, electricity consumption is closer to 45% of the price of aluminum. The cost of electricity used to produce aluminum accounts for nearly 2% of energy production worldwide.”

When does aluminum scrap sell highest? 

In general, the optimal time to sell aluminum scrap is in the summer season.

At this time, there is more activity in the industries that require aluminum like construction. But, since aluminum is used in manufacturing, consumer goods, and transportation, it remains relatively stable. Nevertheless, slight increases in demand means a higher price for your aluminum.

More specifically, the preferred time to sell your scrap will depend on your location. Beginning and end periods of the month tend to be better times for collecting scrap, but the trends of your local scrap yard will more likely determine when you sell.

Where to find aluminum?

Knowing the kind of money you can get for selling aluminum might have you wondering how you can get your hands on more of it.

Here are five of the most common places to find aluminum:

In consumer packaging

Firstly, an essential property of aluminum is that it is lightweight. For this reason, it can be carried and travel very well without losing its shape or strength. That’s why aluminum composes ordinary packaging like cans, food containers, and foil. And, this makes dining halls, kitchens, and public spaces great places to find aluminum.

At construction projects

Thanks to aluminum’s lightweight strength, it’s a great choice for many construction projects. Further, it serves a variety of purposes during construction projects. Couple that with its reusable nature, and it’s an obvious choice for many projects.

Commercial construction sites are often rich in aluminum, including in:

  • Frames
  • Roofs
  • Siding
  • Walls
  • Door handles
  • HVAC units

Vehicle bodies

Because aluminum is resistant to corrosion, it’s a popular option for constructing all kinds of vehicles, including cars, trucks, and trains. Further, it can be found in engine blocks, wheels, and body panels. That’s why you’ll often find people exploring scrap yards or taking apart broken-down vehicles to collect this material. 

Marine ships

You’ll often find this lightweight yet strong material in large ships, hovercrafts, and hulled vessels.

HVAC Units

Aluminum is also an important component in many heating and cooling units, which makes HVAC units and supplies a prime source for this material.

What kind of aluminum products can I recycle?

Now you know some of the places to find aluminum, but next, let’s talk more about some of the specific items you can recycle.

We have an entire post on recycling aluminum that you can find here.

That post includes this list of recyclable aluminum products:

  • Window frames
  • Wire 
  • Old cars
  • Cables
  • Clippings, borings, and other manufacturing scrap
  • Leftover skeletons from aluminum sheets cut to create cans
  • Tubing 
  • UBC cans (Universal Beverage Cans)
  • Scrap metal (including HVAC scrap metal and electrical motor scrap)
  • Pie pans

Who buys aluminum per pound locally?

Whether you are looking to sell your aluminum or merely have it hauled off your hands, local scrap yards offer different services and prices.

For example, at Scrap Gators, we offer full-service residential and commercial scrap services from Port St. Lucie. We service commercial and industrial projects large and small. 

Do you want to remove outdated mechanical systems? Or clean out vacant buildings? Or perhaps you’re in the middle of construction and need more space? Maybe you simply want to get rid of some extra junk! 

No matter what, we have the know-how and experience to make sure your projects run smoothly. 

When to Sell Aluminum: Pro Tips

Now, let’s move onto those pro tips we promised to help you get the most for the aluminum you’re selling. 

Pro Tip #1

Indexmundi.com keeps a ledger of aluminum prices from 1990 up to the present day by month. It is a great resource to mine for pricing trends.  

Pro Tip #2

Winter months are more difficult for the aluminum scrapper. With less construction, there is less aluminum to collect and less demand.

Pro Tip #3

Call ahead to your local scrap yards to get a feel for their service, prices, and to consult on your unique situation.

Pro Tip #4

Some events will be happy to have you stop by at the end of an event to take scrap off their busy hands. They may even not have thought the refuse could be recycled. Inform them!

Give us a call at (772) 203-7391 for a consultation. We can quote you a price and offer you free services over the phone. With questions, detailed information, and requests, you can also send mail to wally@scrapgators.com.

Learn more about where to find aluminum and learn how it is used through our related help articles:

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