Copper has become one of the most important metals especially in the automotive industry. Without it, there would be no cars and trains. But as with many precious metals, getting this metal is labor intensive and requires a great amount of money. It is for this reason that industries recycle copper for reuse. And as prices of fine copper fresh from mines rise, even scrap copper price rise as well.
Many people don’t see the wealth in buying and selling these scrap metals. Just take a walk in public areas and you will surely notice that there are so many metal items discarded everywhere. These items, especially copper wire, have actually value. If you accumulate 50 pounds of recycled copper, you will get $100 USD instantly if the scrap price is $2 USD per pound. You might say, “That amount is peanuts for a 50-pound metal.” Many people don’t realize that metals are naturally heavy. Thus, it doesn’t take people long to accumulate a 50-pound metal.
Because of the high demand for copper, government agencies, construction companies, and automotive companies even haggle for recycled copper. Aside from its importance to making cars, copper are also used in construction or in urbanizing rural areas. Fresh copper from Latin America mines is sold at over $8,000 per ton. Thus, companies just resort to recycling copper to save money. The scrap price is often half of the freshly mined copper. This makes it a really good opportunity to cash in on this metal.
In Europe and the United States, it is the automotive industry that dominates copper scrap. The U.S. currently offers the highest copper scrap rates. Based on the U.S. Automotive Recycling Index, the average scrap copper price is $2 per pound. It is for this reason that, of the 6.5 million discarded automobiles every year in the U.S., 95% are recycled. The U.S. automotive industry reuses and reprocesses these scrap copper to manufacture new automobiles. In fact, in 2005, this industry reprocessed 803 million pounds of used copper into new raw materials to produce about 12 million new vehicles.
The price of scrap copper is regulated and monitored by the London Metal Exchange. One can find price of copper scrap on online local or international websites dedicated to update scrap copper prices daily. One can also get scrap copper price reports from European Union, the United States, China, Korea, and Brazil websites. Most U.S. sites on this industry provide free reports and subscription on scrap copper prices.