Scrap You Later

Volatile Prices for Copper Scrap - 10/6/21

October 06, 2021 iScrap App Episode 83
Scrap You Later
Volatile Prices for Copper Scrap - 10/6/21
Show Notes Transcript

Over the last week, the copper price per pound has been extremely volatile, and that is typically a bad sign which could lead to downward pressure on the market.

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Tom Buechel:

Playing my air drums here scrappers Tom from the iScrap App and today is Wednesday, October 6 2021. I hope you're doing awesome. I'm having a good day today because everyday six foot above is a pretty good day, especially in the scrap prices cooperate. If you have questions throughout this entire live episode, please let us know wherever you're streaming, we appreciate you tuning in. Got lots of fun contests going on right now giveaways, Amazon gift cards, reciprocating saws, with all types of really cool stuff that we'll go over today. So you know, any questions you have? Let us know, I would rather answer questions from the beginning to the end, than hear myself ramble on more about scrap stuff that I think about every single day, I want to hear your questions because we'd love to get them. So don't forget, we have our license plate contest going on this month, seven characters come up with the most creative scrap metal related license plate that you can, we're gonna have two different winners, one is going to be the most creative that everyone votes on. Second one is going to be the license plate that actually gets put on one of the new work trucks at Rockaway Recycling. So it could be the same person, if the state of New Jersey doesn't have that license plate taken up, we'll have one person winning twice, or maybe we'll have two winners, but we're super excited to make sure you put your submissions. And so here we are. And we have had a 75 cent swing in the copper market over the last five or six trading days. And let me explain. We've seen the markets go from like a trading level of 435, all the way down the 405. Back up the 428 down to 423, down to 415 down to 411. Back to 415. And if you add all those different changes up is like a 70-75 cent price swing just in five days. Now that's the opposite of what we want to see because as a scrapyard owner, as a friend of many other scrapyard owners. This is what freaks us out because we can't give steady reliable prices. So when you ask, Hey, where are the owners get their prices from? Well, a lot of it is from these different markets. And when they're moving and changing the ways that they are, that's the worst thing for us, because we have to be less aggressive and a little more reactionary, because the markets are swinging left and right and up and down so quickly. So when you're looking at markets, and you're trying to figure out the prices, whether you're reporting them online, whether you're using you've already download the new iScrap App, this is where we come in as a really great tool. With 200 metals that are listed. We're seeing people post prices every day, those prices that are getting listed whether you're doing it, or a friend or a fellow scrapper that helps create the national price averages, which gives you a really good indicator on where the markets are. Now if you're a Patreon supporter, you'd have been getting absolutely other market tips to give you information of what's going on. And with monthly Patreon giveaways. This month we're giving away this awesome DeWalt reciprocating saw and a packet, you know, reciprocating saw blades. These things are tough to come by. And it's a beautiful brand new tool. See we didn't even open it. So if you're a Patreon supporter, any Patreon supporter new current one that supporting us, you know, we want you to join this way. Not only can you win awesome tools, but you can learn about different market tips. You know, we have our secrets of the scrapyard video series that we come out with. And that concept of sharing information on how we make money as a scrapyard, giving it to you as a scrapper, you can't learn that stuff online, except through the iScrap App. You know, all my friends inside of the industry. While they all like me, when I sell material to them, they're all pretty ticked off at me because we tell you things on how to make more money with your scrap because that's our goal here and iScrap. Now with those copper prices fluctuating I still advise to sell because while we are off the highs that we saw back in May, that was a crazy time period when you look back on it on a macro scale for 2020. You know, we're nine months in and there was a one month period where lumber and cardboard and copper and aluminum, everything was kind of going you know all over the place. And when you look at the markets, how they're reacting now, things are calming down pricing wise, but it's also because there's a little outside chaos going on. I was on a plane the other day, and when I'm on a plane tonight and I fly up out of Newark and I look down at the skyline of New York City and I see the waterways you know you see light boat traffic and things like that, but I saw something that I have never seen before. Now I've talked about it how boats are not getting unloaded but in the port Newark. And then I believe it was down in the Philadelphia DC area and those ports, I paid attention the whole way down the east coast that was flying. Because I was able to see a lot of barges at one point I saw like 15-20 barges sitting outside Newark. And when I was coming back three, four days later, the same amount, if not more, we're out there. That's bad thing, because that shows that the supply chains are so congested at these different ports, that's affecting the metal prices, how it's affecting the metal price as well. While the demand is there for goods in different products, the supply from the scrap side of things is also there. But the disconnect is coming when you're not able to get the goods off of the boats, onto the trucks and into the public. So they can buy it at whatever store it may be. This could be things from iPhones, TVs, to anything that has metal inside of them. The second problem is the amount of truckers as we've created a online world that's also affected scrap and scrap gets moved by trucks. But because this online world has been created, the massive you know, companies like Amazon and Walmart and Apple, they're eating up more and more of the trucking logistics, they need more containers to move more stuff, Americans want their stuff, we want more stuff, whatever it is, right. And when they're taking up these trucking routes, scrap is in being moved is easily. And I heard just the other day on Fox News that they were saying that CDL licenses were one of the most popular searches right now. Because the price per hour is higher than so many other industries. Now that's a great thing that we might have more truck drivers, but it's a bad thing because that means we're still three to six months away from those drivers getting into the trucks training, passing, getting hired, going through company training, going through a a probationary period, that's a three to six month window before those extra drivers are driving the trucks on the road moving stuff. And again, the stuff could be scrapped the stuff could be electronics equipment, but if it's not moving, it's gonna affect the scrap prices, the bottleneck is going to happen. You know, for the 100th time here, I'm talking about the Ford trucks that are parked on the racetrack near the factories, because they don't have enough semiconductors. Well, they have enough semiconductors not because of lack of material, but because of the lack of labor. And without that labor to put those semiconductors in the trucks. For GM, they don't need more metal to build more trucks, more cars, more SUVs. More large semis. roelofs, right. They don't need metal because they can't ship out what they have. I misspoke a few weeks ago, I was talking to Missy and I was saying that each car has an average of 150 semiconductors. I was so wrong. It's between 2500-4,000 semiconductors per vehicle right now. And that's a problem because while the scrap prices are up my opinion, if we didn't have the supply chain problem, we'd have a market that was even higher. We have any questions we want to go over, but I don't want to keep going here. All right. So how does this affect scrap? Well, let's talk about catalytic converters. If companies can't put cars on the road, rhodium platinum and palladium are not going to go into the catalytic converters on to the vehicles and when we get back from our commercial break. I'll give you an idea of how long we think it's going to take until that starts to autocorrect. At RRCats.com we have everything that you need to sell your catalytic converters, we have an easy quoting system that you can send pictures or serial numbers to we have the ability to get your cats graded within one business day. You'll get quick payment via Pay Pal or check if you look at our Google reviews and our other online reviews, you will feel confident with our team at RRCats.com to be able to purchase your catalytic converter time and time again. We look forward to earning your business at RRCats.com today. Here we are talking about we have these catalytic converters that need to go in the cars. We had a massive problem the beginning of September where this semiconductor shortage really was starting to hit the auto sector in a much harder and more aggressive way. That's why the prices went down. Now at RRCats.com we have thousands of quotes going out every week and we saw those quotes start to dip down. So when we start to follow the numbers it's not that people aren't visiting the websites or looking for prices. On catalytic converters, but when they start to hear new cycles that the cat prices are going down, rhodium is below 10,000. It's not today it's above 13,000, right? But when you hear these prices moving, that's going to affect all of the catalytic converter prices. And I kind of was trying to explain this to my wife the other day, we were just talking about generic metals. And I said, you know, while the demand is there, if they can't use the raw scrap the raw products that's refined afterwards, to put it into these coppers, then the demand really goes down, even though it's artificially down, which means at a point, it might accelerate fast. But what's happening now is you have a bottleneck, where scrap is going in, scrap is getting processed, the processor has this refined scrap these bars, right, these ingots, but they can't move on, because auto manufacturers already bought a bunch a few months ago. And they bought a bunch at much higher prices, which means they need to use up their higher priced inventory, which ultimately as consumers means that we're going to pay more money for our cars, our trucks, our goods. And that's where inflation and that's where you hear on the news kicking in where you had a crazy market, the beginning of 2021, which made commodities go up, which will make goods go up, which will make profits go down. And that's why you'll start to see the prices go up because the corporations still need to pay their people their overhead their drivers, their freight their insurances, and those aren't decreasing. So when you look at it, it's really kind of crazy to think of it. But if you were a Patreon supporter, you would have heard some of these tips and tricks already, you know, forget, every month we have our reciprocating saw, or another DeWalt product that we're giving away through Patreon. And if you followed us through iScrap's pricing page on the new app, you'd also see these market fluctuations these one to two minute videos to give you an idea what's going on and how I try to piece together different pieces of the market to come up with a really good idea. Now I saw a bunch of awesome posts this week. I know Joseph Kniss from pronounce your last name I'm sorry, showed the dirtiest hands that I've seen, you know, his white hands became you know completely covered in dirt and well you know dirty hands is a sign of clean money Joseph I agree with you wear those gloves man we got a blog out there like 10 different pairs of gloves that you can try were even rubber ones, you know, protect those moneymakers these fingers. They're your money makers in the scrap world. Now let's talk about iron and steel prices for a little bit which still unchanged. You know, let's let's do a little a little prayer here that these markets haven't changed too much after that month of August had such low expectations for September. I haven't seen much of a change I mean 510 bucks a ton. That's that's really about it. But what we're looking for now is with those oil prices at seven year highs, how that's going to affect the markets with all these other transportation costs. And something else to keep in mind. While you know our phenomenal government here sarcasm was definitely in there is trying to push the clean energy which I'm all for clean energy, we're also going to be seeing much higher heating costs this winter, higher gas costs this winter. And those things are going to affect steel prices and other commodity prices as they will affect the transportation, the different runs of things. We're seeing your big countries overseas pushing for a lot of coal, but the coal is in being mined like it was for years and years and years. As the coal power plants across the world have shut their doors that is affecting the markets pricing and all these things Believe it or not, it works together from the price of cardboard, coal to gas to heating oil, they all kind of work in tandem in unison. And we're happy to share these things with you. Now if you want to go questions you want to go bucket, we'll do questions we'll answer some questions that we've had over the last week.

Missy Quinn:

What's the difference between scrap yellow brass turnings and scrap rod restaurants?

Tom Buechel:

Yeah, no rod. Yeah rod brass turnings versus yellow brass turns. Rod brass is generally a higher grade of brass and yellow brass turnings from my experience comes from a slew of different products. And a good example would be from a key manufacturer or a locksmith. Big word right? A locksmith that just works on keys or different door handles and things like that. That could be a yellow brass turning where all those chips they own they get pumped in there. By the The way my locksmith almost lost his life the other day. Fortunately he did it Nick, our prayers are with you happy that you're doing good. Um, but the rod brass turnings could come from machine shops and they could be different grades of brass, you know those big solid pieces of rods that go on, they get machined into smaller pieces, they generally have more copper content in them. So when you're getting brass trains from machine shops, you're generally going to have a much better quality, but you want to make sure that there's not a heavy mixture of oil in there. And you also want to make sure that those rod brass trains don't get mixed in with steel or other turnings because we have a few machine shops that we service in the area, and we get steel, aluminum and brass turnings mixed together. There's no consumer that wants that who's going to separate turnings, so it lowers the price. So if you ever deal with turnings make sure you keep them sorted separated really well. Another question.

Missy Quinn:

I have two local yards and neither of them will take aluminum foil or pans of any kind, any reason?

Tom Buechel:

Yeah, so aluminum foils and pans kind of suck. Um, that's my primary reason I don't think that's going to be the politically correct reason here. But one reason that I can think of from different aluminum smelters that I've dealt with is because they burn really quickly. And while you could build them and put them together, you know, there is an evaporation factor when these things go into the different heating cores. Also, when you deal with aluminum foil and aluminum pans are like you know, the reusable ones, like you would put a thanksgiving turkey into, by the way, Canada, Happy Thanksgiving on Monday the 11th. You want to be able to think about the food debris that will be left on there. And a lot of manufacturers and scrap consumers they don't like oil because it generally is never clean. So those are a couple of reasons to keep in mind.

Missy Quinn:

Does radiation escape from using XRF gun? If you're holding the partr in your hand, would you be exposed?

Tom Buechel:

Yes. So if you have an XRF, which we do here, Rockaway Recycling, we've done some videos spotlighting the XRF there's a very my minute of radiation that comes out. But let me tell you what, you know, here in New Jersey, what we do preventatively to make sure there's no problems, we have an exposure ring that we put on, which measures month over month our exposure when the XRF is being used. So while there could be a small amount escaping from everything that I've heard from XRF manufacturers, there's actually more radiation coming from your microwave. Yes, your microwave, that heats up your food than there are from these XRF of analyzers. So yes, there's exposure, but if you're doing it correctly, should never have your hand in front of it. We've actually been trained here multiple times, the analyzer goes on top of the metal hand goes away to limit exposure, the hand that's holding the XRF and missing maybe we'll put a video together we'll show them proper ways that it's done. But when the ring is on, and it could be a tag or something else depending on the company that you use, it measures the level of exposure and month over month we take that ring versus a control ring that was never used. We actually mailed ours in today. So we can have a report generated provided to our local authorities to make sure that we're protecting ourselves and just to use that extra we actually need to pay a yearly fee to the great state of New Jersey to use that to make sure that we're doing things the right way. Now I'm going to go into the bucket before we have a couple more questions. I really don't know what's in this bucket but I can tell you I've two minutes to talk about it. It's very heavy. So I'm going to reach in here and see what I really don't know what this is. Oh I do know what this is. Oops, sorry. Loud noises, loud noises, couple pieces of brass. Not only brass but a piece of bronze here and I can give you a quick tip I don't know how the camera is going to show it. Let's put piece next to piece on your left my right this is a piece of bronze it's much more red in color and sometimes it gets confused as copper but if you look at it compared to this piece of yellow brass, you can really see a quick difference in the two. Now this almost looks like copper but when you scratch it It won't be this lug nut that's inside is actually yellow brass in this instance and when you look through it goes through there. So if you ever get these this could be used as a piece of wire you know there could be a piece of cable put in there, then it kind of gets put onto an electrical panel. If you go to scrap these you definitely want to make sure these screws are out because it's about a two and a half pound piece. And if you clean it this is bronze which is like a national average $2.41 yellow brass national average $1.83. So that's a 60 ce t difference. So just by taki g this one bolt out, you actual y make $1 and a half. That's i . Coffee, you'll make some mo e money. On this side of thing , you have yellow brass, inside f here, there could be an electr c motor, it's a small pump fr m what I can see is a solenoi . But on the other side, you s e more yellow brass, and then y u see a couple of pieces f copper. So right off the bat, I would always have my gu s cutting this off right her , right here. So you have a coup e of pieces of number two, I don t see any number one here, as I generally when I see small r pipes as a lot of solder on, e don't separate as a number on , it's always going to be numb r two, then you have a piece f yellow brass. So definitely so e money to be made here f upgrading on top of that fr m the solenoid because there's a small circulating pump inside f it, you're gonna have a coup e of pieces of copper wire, th s has a tin coating on it, y u snip that, throw it into yo r regular wire bin. And y separating spending a litt e time on these things, you' e definitely going to spend mon y with your scrap. Do we have a y other questions that we want o address her? Sure, let's answ r the

Missy Quinn:

Is there any way to tell the difference between 204 and 316 stainless?

Tom Buechel:

The only easy way to tell the difference between 304 and 316 is if it's labeled and stamped right on there. If you don't have an XRF, like we talked about, you're going to want to call your scrap yard in advance. You know, by using the iScrap App, you can learn about all these awesome metals that are on here with 200 plus metals listed, you can easily see the price difference between 304 and 316. So if you call your scrap yard and you think that you have 316, which is always worth about 15-20% more, because it has more nickel inside of it, they can, you know analyze it with their XRF and give you more money if they're unwilling to because they want to be a little greedy, or maybe they don't own one, that's when you want to spend a little more time on your own researching new scrap yards, there is a test that you could do, it's called a grinding test. And if you have a grinder, it's a grinder and a spark test. That's how it's done in the 1980s and the 1990s. Before these XRFs came out, there's a different color that the sparks will shoot off of the stainless. And you can find some of those if we don't have an article about it, we'll make sure to make one. We'll reference some in some future posts. And you could use the spark test to learn about the different color, the more white I believe it's going to be a higher content of nickel. Don't quote me on that one, but we'll get you that answer. Now. Every month we have gift cards from Amazon from surveys that we're going to be putting out there $25 amazon gift cards that we're going to be giving away just randomly for people that help fill out surveys give us a better idea on what you want to see. So please become either you know a subscriber of our emails, fill out those surveys. We want to hear what you want to hear about, you know, I can sit here and talk all day you can hear my voice is already a little raspy. I talked too much. But I want to talk about what you want me to talk about. So I try to follow the different social posts throughout the week. The YouTube questions the Instagram, the Facebook posts, the scrap metal recycling group, I try to cater my conversations to that Aluminum prices really reall high lead acid batteries toug to move right now. No one reall wants them mostly because ther was such a demand for while an now we had so many cars com into the market. We're just no able to move these things acros seas are inside the country' easily as we are suppose price really are kind of polar righ now. But otherwise, we have ou scrap license plate competi ion going on. We have our Pat eon supporters going on there. o become a Patreon support r. We have monthly giveawa s. We want to hear your questio s. Let us know what you want us to talk about whether it's mo e about aluminum or Die Cast or stripping wire or differe t wire stripper reviews. We'd lo e to come up with these differe t things. To give you a better dea on how to make more money. crappers My name is Tom. Today' the sixth of October. I thank ou for tuning in. I love to hea your questions. I can't wait t hear from you throughout the we k. Until then, I'll see you la er.