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Understanding the Factors that Influence Scrap Metal Prices

Selling scrap metal is a great way to make some extra cash. It also happens to be great for the environment and means less waste overall. So, if you’re looking to sell some scrap metal, you’ll experience a variety of impressive benefits. 

One of the things many people are often curious about when it comes to scrap metal is the pricing: What types of things help determine how much a particular type of scrap metal will cost you should be aware of? 

The good news is that although the scrap metal market might seem somewhat challenging to navigate initially, it’s ultimately fairly straightforward.

We will cover all of that and more in today’s post.

Overview of Scrap Metal Pricing

Scrap metal pricing can change depending on what’s happening in the market. If there’s a high demand for a certain type of scrap metal, its price will likely increase. If there’s a lower demand for scrap metal, the prices will probably be lower. 

You can generally follow the basics of supply and demand to help yourself understand how scrap metal pricing works. Then, pay attention to the trends to make more money off scrap metal.

If prices are lower, you might hold onto your scrap metal a little longer to hopefully get more for it. On the other hand, you’ll want to recycle your scrap metal as soon as possible if prices are higher. 

Supply and demand are perhaps the most significant driver of scrap metal pricing and should definitely be at the top of your list when deciding when to sell yours.

Key Factors that Influence Scrap Metal Prices

There are more specific details to consider regarding scrap metal prices than just supply and demand. Here are some of the most important to consider when it comes to recycling your own scrap metal.

  1. Quality of the scrap metal

Quality can significantly influence how much you’ll receive for your scrap metal. For example, you’ll likely receive a lower price if your scrap metal is covered in residue and insulation or even corroded. 

These types of metal require more time to clean and process so they can eventually be recycled. You might then take it upon yourself to clean the scrap metal before you bring it in. Doing so will make for higher-quality scrap metal and more money in your pocket at the end of the day. It all just depends if the labor time is worth it to you!

  1. The volume

More scrap metal usually means more money. So bringing in a higher quantity of scrap metal for recycling will generally give you a higher price in return. 

Why is that? Well, the scrap yard will likely try to turn around and sell the scrap metal to a processor or manufacturer who can recycle the metal and make it useful in a new form. The more they can sell in bulk, the better! So, it’s usually best to try and bring in as much scrap metal at once as possible. 

It also means fewer transactions for the scrap yard. They’ll be able to sell the scrap metal simultaneously rather than in smaller batches.

  1. The time of year

The time of year is another factor that plays into the different prices of scrap metals. You might be surprised to know scrap metal prices tend to increase when the weather is nicer. That’s because it’s the time of year when many industries are busier and need materials. 

When it gets colder out, business tends to slow down for construction and automobile companies, who usually need scrap metal. It also becomes harder to source scrap metal as the snowy weather often means icy roads and cold weather issues.

  1. Location

Where you live could also impact how much you’ll get for scrap metal. It’s common for scrap metal not to be fully processed at the scrap yard where you sell it. Instead, it usually needs to be transported elsewhere for processing.

The further your scrap metal needs to go, the lower the price you’ll likely get. That’s because the scrap yard will need to pay for the transportation costs, which will probably be much higher. 

Selling your scrap metal in the city could also mean lower scrap metal prices, as the cost of doing business is generally higher.

  1. International trade

You’ll also want to consider the foreign market when it comes to your scrap metal. Countries like China and India that import a lot of scrap metal influence global prices as their demand changes. So if they want more scrap metal, prices will likely rise. 

Opposite to this, if demand goes down in the foreign market, then so do the prices globally. Importing countries may also change their policies which could influence the amount of scrap metal they want to buy. This, in turn, can affect the price you end up receiving.

  1. Market prices of new metals

New metals are another player in the world of scrap metal pricing. Therefore, changes in the price of new metal will affect scrap metal. 

That’s because if the price of a specific new metal rises, many companies will want to use scrap metal instead to help save on costs. This increases the demand for scrap metal and the prices as well.

If the price of a specific new metal is to drop, then the demand for that scrap metal will go down. Then, the cost goes down too as a result.

  1. Current trends

Current trends play into the demand for a certain type of metal. If a particular industry, such as construction, suddenly needs a specific type of metal because of a change in the market, the demand for that metal will increase. As the demand goes up, so does the price.

Paying attention to the current trends in different scrap metal-related industries can help decide when to sell your stash. You want to get the most bang for your buck, after all.

  1. Weight of the scrap metal

Last but not least is the overall weight of the scrap metal. Again, this relates to volume because the more scrap metal you sell at once, the more money you’ll likely make.

Once you’ve handed over a scrap metal for recycling, it will be melted down for resale. The heavier the melted-down metal is, the more money you will make from it. In fact, both volume and weight will influence what you’ll get out of recycling your scrap metal.

Recycling Your Own Scrap Metal

Is it time to recycle your scrap metal? Even if you’re unsure about the current scrap metal prices and whether or not it’s an excellent time to sell, it’s worth looking into. An expert such as our team at Scrap Gators can help you see exactly how much your scrap metal is currently worth and then help you recycle it.

Commercial scrap metal in Florida is our area of expertise, and we’re excited to help you experience the many benefits of scrap metal recycling. 

Ready to get started? Contact Scrap Gators today for more information on our commercial scrap removal services!

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