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So, What Exactly Affects The Price Of Scrap Metal?

If you’ve been looking for scrap metal buyers for a while now, you might know that the value of your metal can fluctuate. But why is that? Ultimately, it comes down to a few key determiners. In this week’s blog, we’re looking at those factors that can affect the value of your scrap metal.  

 Scrap metal

Ferrous vs. non-ferrous metals 

Knowing the type of metal you have is the first step in figuring out how much you can be paid for your scrap metal. Generally, non-ferrous metals are of higher value to scrap metal buyers. However, large quantities of ferrous metals also have a good chance of selling.  

Ferrous metals contain iron. They may be mixed with other metals to achieve different desired properties, depending on the intended use of the metal. For example, stainless steel is an alloy of iron, nickel and chromium. Due to the chromium, the stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion, making it a perfect metal for kitchenware. 

Some examples of ferrous metals include: 

  • Stainless steel 
  • Cast iron 
  • Carbon steel 

Non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and they are sought after because they typically don’t rust or corrode. A few examples of non-ferrous metals are: 

  • Brass 
  • Tin 
  • Copper 
  • Aluminium  
  • Lead 

You might be wondering how to tell if your metal is ferrous or non-ferrous. Simply holding up a magnet to the metal will give you an indication of the answer; ferrous metals are typically magnetic.  

 

Quantity of metal 

Quantity is everything, especially for ferrous metal. You’re much more likely to negotiate a higher price for a whole bin full of metal rather than a few separate kilos. This is because buying in bulk is more convenient and reduces the transportation cost for the scrap buyer.  

If you’re a business or a residential property with lots of scrap metal, you might want to consider getting a scrap metal bin. Building up the quantity of your scrap metal before selling it is an ideal way to get the most money from your scrap.   

 

Location of the scrap buyer 

Your distance from the scrap buyers can affect the price. This is because buyers will need to factor the transportation costs into their offer. Therefore, for the best price, it is important to find a locally-run scrap dealer. 

 

Industry demand 

Both domestic and international levels of demand affect the price of local scrap metal. Like any item, high demand and low supply will mean high earnings. Alternatively, low demand and high supply will result in low earnings.  

Domestic levels of demand can often depend on the local industries that require metal, such as the construction industry. If the industry is struggling in general or going through a dry spell, you will find there’s less demand for scrap metals. This drives down the price you’ll be able to sell it for. 

International demand also plays a hand in the amount of money you can earn from scrap metal. Big importers of scrap metal – like China and India – affect the overall global prices of these metals. Economic downturns or lower demand for scrap metals in these countries can cause slumps in local prices.  

 

Quality of the metal 

The quality of the scrap metal also affects its price. If, for example, it is attached to insulation, then the scrap buyer may not be willing to pay as much for it because they will need to remove the insulation themselves.  

There are other quality factors to consider, too: 

  • The purity of the metal – is it an alloy? Purer metals are typically worth more. 
  • What kind of scrap metal is it? Sheets and casting are speciality metal scraps and often pay better than random scraps. 
  • Is the metal corroded? Often, corroded metals attract lower prices. 

 

Looking for scrap metal dealers? 

When it comes to finding a buyer of scrap metal, you’ll want to ensure that they can handle the job that you need doing. For example, some scrap metal dealers only handle business scrap metal because there is a larger quantity of metal. Other buyers only purchase non-ferrous metals.  

At Metal Men Recycling, we collect both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. With 24-hour pickup from industrial and residential areas alike, no job is too big or too small for us. We even supply bins for your scrap metal and pick them up at your convenience.  

Metal Men Recycling is based in Pakenham. Don’t hesitate to give us a call on 03 5941 6677 today to speak with our friendly local team!