Steel Prices vs. Copper Prices

Everyday the market of recycling and buying metals changes. Did you know that approximately 1.5 million new jobs will be created when 75 percent of the United States recycles regularly? The limited number of those recycling cause various movement in the price of natural metals and resources.

The constant change causes shifts in the prices for steel and other metals in the buy/sell market. There is a noticeable change with the number of people who recycle metals. This is from the rise and fall of the demand for certain metals and current pricing. Let’s take a look at the changes in the market and differences in metal prices over the years.

Steel Prices

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that contains less than 2 percent carbon and around 1 percent manganese. It also contains few amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and oxygen. Knowns as the highest-recycled metal in North America, steel uses 74 percent less energy than its counterparts. Steel is widely used as a construction material for our everyday life. Although you may not see it, you can find steel in buildings, roadways, bridges, and even home goods. We use it everyday in our lives and thus explains why the demand for it is constant and continues to rise.

Copper Prices

Copper is a chemical element. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Copper has a high thermal and electrical conductivity and is the first metal that was melted from its ore, cast, and sculpted into a shape. It is also the one of the first alloyed with another metal. A fresh exposed surface of pure copper has a reddish-orange color.

Copper remains the preferred electrical conductor to all electrical wiring. It plays a key role in power generation, power transmissions, power distribution, and telecommunications. Copper is also used in electronics, circuitry, and countless types of electrical equipment.

Metal Prices

In the past twenty years copper has begun to take a slow increase. Its extreme fluctuation has made it hard for anyone to determine if it will rise or fall. In 1998, copper reached a steady price and began to rise. In 2009, the price of copper took a major fall. Plummeting to its lowest price in 2009, it did not stay at that range for a long period of time. It began a fast rise and recovery to the highest price in history. In 2011-2012 prices of copper were on a steady high price range and business was booming.

Shortly after the rise in price in late 2012 copper experienced another dramatic fall. Unfortunately the price of copper has continued to change over the years. For example, on November 11th, 1996 copper prices began to increase with a simple $1.01 per pound. Now 20 years later it is at an increase with a price of $2.26 per pound. The rise and fall will continue to fluctuate for the prices of copper as the demand and recycling change.

Copper vs. Steel

Steel has faced a constant decrease in prices over the past couple of years. In 2011 steel prices were at $745.89 per metric ton; it has now dropped to $462.25 per metric ton. This decrease often involves an over supply in the market due to the relative demand. This year has been at an all time low for steel in 11 years. But, steel has a high rate of demand and supply due to an increase in recycling. Because of the increase in recycling of steel the prices most likely will increase over the next year.

The economy continues to change and fluctuate. Expect metal prices to be on a constant shift as the year concludes. Through history they have always been changing and differing at an unsteady rate. As we learn from history, they will continue to rise and fall for many years to come.

This is a result of the supply and demand of the metals. These prices are not only affected by North America but also in other countries. As countries shift in their needs, the supply and demand is naturally affected. Our trading countries have a great deal of an impact on our economy and the way that it impacts our metal pricing.

Recycling rates keep our metals safe and in a steady balance with money and supply. Having our rates at a steady price can keep the market going at a normal pace. This is helpful for our economic needs such as construction and building.