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Scrap Copper Prices in Canada

As a general rule in the scrap metal industry, the quality of scrap dictates the price per pound.  And when it comes to scrap copper prices, the quality, or grade, of the scrap is especially important.  It’s true that supply and demand has the greatest impact on price fluctuations, but it’s the quality and purity of the scrap copper that affects the price from the scrap yard.  Quite simply, the higher the level of purity, the better the price will be.  So for the scrap collector, it’s essential to remove as much contamination as possible before delivery to the yard.

Regardless of the short-term price fluctuations, scrap copper prices are significant enough to make even a small collecting operation profitable.  Beyond the individual scrap collector, recycling of scrap copper is in itself a small commodity market.  Copper of all kinds (pure copper as well as alloys) has been refined and re-used for centuries.  It has never been recognized as waste, and has always been particularly well used where resources are short.  Recycled, re-processed copper is as good as virgin ore, and therefore practically the same as “new” copper.

Scrap copper prices have maintained respectable levels year over year.  Demand for scrap copper remains intact, and the availability of scrap is never-ending - it makes for viable collection, even on a small scale.  There must be value there, because stealing scrap copper has become routine.  In fact, scrap yards are now asking for personal identification when accepting scrap, and if there is suspicion that the material is stolen, it has to be reported.  Truth is, if prices are high, legal collection is viable, without the need to steal.

High scrap copper prices make the economics of collection worthwhile.  But it’s the quality of the collected material that makes the real difference - clean, pure scrap is processed and refined much more easily, making it more valuable.  In the event that a scrap yard receives scrap that is impure, more refining is obviously required, making the process more costly.  In a scenario where scrap is extremely contaminated, the price per pound will diminish dramatically.  Companies like Tal Metal Recycling Inc. always keep a close eye on pricing – it defines the recycling process as a whole.

When processing and refining is complete, the recycled copper readily meets the same standard of high-grade copper.  In fact, the electrical industry uses recycled copper in the same way as it does virgin ore.  And many other industries have also started to make use of recycled copper, primarily because it makes economic sense.  Whether it’s a large refining facility, or a regional scrap yard, the bottom line is always influenced by scrap copper prices.  And in today’s sophisticated marketplace, price fluctuations can be observed 24/7 (around the world).

In North America, industry recovers nearly as much copper from scrap as is mined from virgin ore.  And globally, recycled copper is being used for almost 3/4 of industry’s needs – it’s just another sign of how reliable and stable the marketplace remains.

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