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Why Do Scrap Metal Prices Change?

Like any natural resource, scrap metal prices are subject to fluctuations in price that depend on a variety of factors associated with the collection and production of scrap metal and recycled metal products. As a scrap metal harvester, paying close attention to scrap metal prices can make a big difference for how much money you can make in a year of collecting scrap metal.

Dedicated scrap metal harvesters will combine constant surveillance of current prices with notes about various forecasts of scrap metal prices. In a way, becoming a savvy scrap metal harvester is a little like playing the stock market. It can be a great exercise in industry analysis and makes the process that much more fun and exciting. For example, if you’re collecting scrap copper and you don’t pay attention to scrap metal prices or their forecasted values, you would simply collect your scrap copper and transport it to a scrap metal recycling depot, like TAL Metal Inc., and your experience would end there. However, if you’re a savvy scrap metal harvester, your analysis of current and forecasted scrap metal prices would lead to some exciting moments if the price of copper suddenly spikes. What causes prices to fluctuate?

The first reason why scrap metal prices change is due to the all-too-familiar principle of supply and demand, which has a mix of both predictable and unpredictable factors. For example, during the spring months when most housing construction projects commence, metals like brass and copper will be in high demand due to their high usage in housing construction. Copper is used in plumbing and some electrical components thanks to its malleability and excellent conductivity, while brass is used in a wide variety of housing products like doorknobs or lighting fixtures.

Location also plays an important factor in determining scrap metal prices. Because of many industries’ dependence on the shipping industry - and as a result, the cost of fuel - the price obtained for scrap metal in Saskatoon will likely be a little lower than in Halifax. Canada exports a great deal of converted scrap metal product for manufacturing use all over the world, and proximity to high volume ports is one factor that can greatly affect the price that you will receive for your scrap metal.

Finally, both the quantity and quality of the scrap metal you harvest can play a role in determining scrap metal prices. If your scrap metal is corroded, it’s simply not reasonable to expect to get top dollar for your scrap metal. The same situation applies for the quantity of your scrap metal deposit. If you’re selling aluminum cans back to a scrap metal recycler, it’s much easier to receive a higher price if your scrap metal deposit is a truckload of cans versus a few bags. A recycler will have to perform fewer tasks that incur overhead fees like transactions or transport if you drop off a truckload of cans, compared to if you visited three times a week to deposit an equivalent amount, so they’ll give you a higher price as a result.

Scrap metal prices change weekly, sometimes even daily. If you want to get the most value out of scrap metal harvesting, pay attention to price forecasts and fluctuations, and above all else, have fun with your income-generating hobby. Make sure you choose a qualified scrap metal recycler like TAL metals Inc. to handle all of your scrap metal deposits effectively and professionally. 

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