The scrap market’s “pretty stagnant right now,” said Randy Boudreaux of Southern Recycling in New Orleans, with prices staying about the same the last few years. The average scrap value for a jumbo open hopper barge is $55,000, down from $90,000 in 2008. But that’s still up from $20,000 a decade ago.

Domestic scrap demand has held steady, but overseas demand is down a bit, Joe Pickard, chief economist and director of commodities, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, said. 

Scrap prices have not moved much in the past three years (See chart). The volume of ferrous scrap exports is down 26% year-over-year through May to 5.9 million metric tons. — D.K. DuPont 


Benchmark No. 1 HMS (heavy melting steel), price per gross ton: 


    2005      $120.83

    2006      241.67 

    2007      240.83

    2008      498.50

    2009      184.50

    2010      324.83

    2011      414.17

    2012      347.50

    2013      325.83 

    2014      357.50


Source: Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc.