The most frequently asked question at Smith Iron & Metal on a daily basis is how we determine scrap metal pricing. Things like, how are aluminum prices determined? Why were copper prices higher last week? Why did I earn more this week for my steel? While we’ve been considered the premiere recycling center in Richmond for quite some time, we’re just a big fish in a huge pond as far as the worldwide market goes. We only have the tiniest possible impact on the market as far as how worldwide scrap metal prices fluctuate!
The truth is, scrap metal prices are determined by a number of factors. The Comex and London Metal Exchange indexes as well as general economic supply and demand principles are the primary determinants of price. These two exchanges act very much like the NASDAQ or NYSE. When demand for steel rises, so does price, and scrap yards tend to sell their steel. In that situation, we’re happy to pay you more for your steel load. On the flip side, when demand for copper falls, scrap yards will hold their inventory. That means we’re not looking for as much copper, so we’ll pay less on that day.
Economic and market factors here in Richmond do, however, also play a small part in the price we can offer you for your scrap metal. Even so, we still get calls and inquiries daily about what a load of insulated wiring is worth, or how much we will pay for a van full of steel… and we’re happy to answer!
It sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! Just give us a ring! We’re happy to let you know what we’re paying on any given day for your scrap. If you have any specific questions, call us at 804-271-1239, send us a message on Facebook, or contact us online! If you have any questions on what materials we do or do not buy, click here to find a complete list. We look forward to seeing you soon!