Customers ask us all the time about scrap copper prices. In fact, there’s no doubt that this is one of the most talked about subjects relative to scrap metal prices here in Richmond, so we’d like to shed some light on the subject!
Sometimes, our job involves explaining to a customer why his copper is worth a bit less today than last week. Not very fun! Other times though, we get to tell a customer that his scrap is worth quite a bit more… and we like that a bit better!
First, like all commodities, copper prices change with supply and demand, market conditions, and the cost of production. During a housing boom, demand for copper greatly increases as builders need wiring and piping for new construction. When the housing market busts, demand plummets.
Second, external market forces, such as policy changes and trade agreements can also influence copper prices, and thereby what we pay you for your copper load. When resource rich countries raise export taxes, price goes up. When free trade is established, price bottoms out.
Above all, however, the greatest influence on copper prices (and all scrap metal pricing) is the price of fuel. Energy is present in almost every stage of the metal trade. With high fuel prices, it costs more to prospect, extract, refine, ship, and manipulate metals. When fuel costs are high, so are copper prices.
As you can see, it’s never a simple matter. Prices can fluctuate for a variety of reasons and due to a variety of factors. We are happy to discuss the “ebb and flow” of copper pricing with you… just give us a call at 271-1239, contact us on Facebook, or fill out our contact form here!