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Understanding Auto Scrap Metal Prices Per Pound in Rochester NY

Before you take your scrap metal into a recycling center you probably wonder how much money you might earn. How valuable is the metal you have to sell? As you go online or start making calls you may get different scrap metal prices from different yards and centers; you will find out that different auto scrap metals are more valuable than others. For instance, an understanding of ferrous versus non-ferrous metals is essential.

If you bring in your scrap metal a week or month after you called around for quotes, the prices may be drastically different already. The scrap metal industry is constantly adjusting. Based on supply and demand, metal values ebb and flow. However, there is one place you can go to for an accurate scrap metal evaluation. Our informed Northside Salvage team is the answer.

Many customers want to know answers to the following questions:

Why does scrap metal price vary? How does this affect the scrap material I want to recycle?

Why Auto Scrap Metal Prices Vary

Supply & Demand….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 acquired metal material to manufacturers who then place orders according to their business’ needs.  Manufacturers may need more steel materials during a certain season and then may need more copper metal the next season. It all depends on the products that manufacturers are making and the materials required at that time.

Example 1…new home construction is usually busiest in the spring when people are itching to make home improvements. Conversely, home construction is slowest in the winter when it’s too cold to think about home improvements. Scrap yards may receive more orders for metals during the busy spring months, if their customers are primarily home construction companies. Thus, scrap yards will pay more for the metals that their construction customers need, so as to incentivize patrons to bring more of that metal. If there is a greater demand for that metal, then its value is increased. During the winter months, construction companies metal demands go down with less business, so the prices for those metals lower.

Example 2…for the auto industry, their busy season is opposite from home construction. They have higher production numbers during wintertime and lower production in the summer. The materials needed for  auto repairs will be much different than those needed for home construction. Thus, the metals that are used most in the busy winter for auto industry needs will be worth more money than during the summer season when the auto industry slows down.

Manufacturers cannot always predict their metal needs in advance. So, if new creations come out that require different metals than what was used the previous year, month or week, prices will change. Manufacturer’s products are always changing thus, the desired materials change too. Because of the unpredictable nature of the metal industry, you should call us at (585) 444-8866 the day you want to bring your items in to get an accurate quote or fill out a contact form in advance.

Weighing the Different Scrap Metals Value

Scrap metals, and other materials, vary in price also because different recycled parts are sometimes more valuable than others.

  • For example, if you want to scrap your car, you may get more money for a car that has airbags intact which can be reused. Or a refrigerator with a decent body will be worth more than a highly damaged one.
  • Many old cars (15+ years old) have parts that may not be worth reselling, so they are simply crushed and shredded. So, scrap yards will pay less money for an old car that does not have many re-sellable parts.
  • The cleanliness of your materials should also be taken into consideration.  Clean copper coils bring in more money than used and dirty ones will, because dirty coils require scrap yards to go through an additional process to clean the pieces.


These are just some examples of why the prices for scrap vary so greatly.

It’s not too complicated once you realize the pattern. Different seasons, different metals, different material conditions all determine the value of metals day to day. Supply and demand, and condition are the biggest determiners of material values.

If you have any more questions about scrap metal values, then please give us a call at (585) 444-8866. We will be happy to share our expertise with you and help clear up any questions you may have regarding scrap metal.

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