Before you bring your scrap metal into a recycling center you’re probably curious as to how much money you might earn. As you go online or start making calls you may get different amounts from different yards and centers and you will find out different auto scrap metals are more valuable. If you bring in your scrap metal on a day other than when you got your quotes, you may find that the amount has changed, sometimes drastically! Why is this and how does this affect any scrap material you want to recycle?
Why Auto Scrap Metal Prices Vary
There are several variables that go into determining the price that a scrap yard will pay for materials brought in, but supply from their own customers is probably the most important. Many scrap yards sell their materials to manufacturers and these place orders according to their needs. Manufacturers may need more materials during certain seasons or when certain industries have a greater need for supplies.
As an example, new home construction is usually busiest in the spring and slowest in the winter. Scrap yards may see more orders for certain metals during spring months, so they are paying more for those metals being brought in. During the winter months, their demand goes down so the prices go down. The auto industry is often the opposite; they have higher production numbers during wintertime and their industry slows down in the summer.
Manufacturers can’t always predict their needs for certain metals and materials which is why prices may go up and down from week to week or day to day. Like selling gold or silver, you may need to call the day you want to bring your items in to get an accurate quote.
Other examples of why scrap metals and other materials vary in price is because the parts that are recycled are sometimes more valuable than others. For example, if you want to scrap your car, you may get more money for a car if it has more airbags or if the parts are still in demand. Very old cars have parts that are not typically resold and they are simply broken down and recycled.
How clean your materials are is also a consideration. Copper coils that are clean often bring in more than those that are used and dirty, since there is an additional process for cleaning these pieces. These are just some examples of why the prices for scrap vary so much.