Understanding Twitch in the Metal Market in 2019

What is Twitch?

In order to understand the twitch metal market, we first have to define what exactly “twitch” is. When a vehicle is scrapped for metal, the combination of non-ferrous metals that have been separated from the shredded material (known as Zorba) and further processed into something called “light fraction” (achieved by separating the aluminum and magnesium contents from the copper, zinc, brass, bronze, and stainless steel) is called twitch. Twitch is an important part of the scrap metal industry because aluminum, one of the chief metals found in twitch, is such a versatile material with countless usages. It is easy and cost effective to work with, resists corrosion unless under extreme circumstances, conducts electricity, and is lightweight yet durable. Aluminum is so strong and versatile, it is used by the U.S. Army and even NASA.

Twitch is Good For the Environment and the Economy

Recycling aluminum is important because it costs less and is more environmentally friendly than mining for raw metals. Aluminum can actually be recycled an indefinite amount of times, so it’s extremely beneficial to keep it in circulation rather than trashing it. Additionally, aluminum makes cars, planes, and rockets lighter, causing them to require less energy when in use. This is called “lightweighting” and has the potential to significantly lower the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.

Not only is recycling aluminum better for the environment, but it also benefits the economy. The Aluminum Association reports that 3.3 employment opportunities are created in response to each aluminum industry job. The industry itself employs over 160,000 employees. It is also cost-effective to recycle aluminum. A study done by the Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling at the Metal Processing Institute found that the recycling rate of automotive aluminum is 91%, meaning that only a small percentage of aluminum is lost in the recycling process.

Pricing Pressure in the Twitch Metal Market

As reported by the American Metal Market magazine, international demand for twitch is growing, but suppliers are trying to raise prices. Buyers have been tempted by the lower prices of non-twitch shredded metal, putting pressure on the twitch industry to be more competitive. The price difference between twitch and other secondary aluminum alloys is currently 31 cents per pound. Additionally, some auto shredder operators have seen as much as a 20% drop in inbound materials, which could negatively impact the success of the twitch metal market if the pattern continues or becomes more widespread. Consumers are pushing for a price reduction and negotiations are ongoing.


The benefits of recycling aluminum are significant. Bring your scrap metal to Klein’s Recycling to contribute to the health of the planet and the creation of jobs in the recycling industry.

Metal Money 101: The End-of-2018 United States Metals Market Explained

Why Do We Care About the Metals Market?

The metals market in the United States affects the recycling industry and the price of metals in the rest of the world. Earlier in 2018, there was a lot of talk about President Trump’s metal tariffs and how they would affect the metal market as a whole. In order to better understand the metals market, it’s helpful to know the different kinds of metals and what happened when President Trump actually did impose the metals tariff.

Ferrous vs. Non-ferrous Metal

There are two main categories of metal–ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metals have iron in them, which means they are magnetic and susceptible to rust. Most scrap metal, such as car parts, falls under the category of ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals don’t contain iron and don’t rust. Examples of non-ferrous metals include aluminum, lead, zinc, copper, and stainless steel.

Metals Tariff

Just before the summer of 2018, President Trump placed a tax, or a tariff, on metals imported into the United States from other countries–specifically a 10% tax on aluminum and a 25% tax on steel. Such a tariff discourages the use of foreign metals and encourages local metal production. Many industries, such as construction, energy production (especially solar and wind), and car production, heavily rely on the use of metals; if imported metals become harder to come by, metal recycling becomes even more important in order to keep American metal production growing to sufficiently supply metals to all the industries that depend on them.

The Price of Metal

Unsurprisingly, metal prices in the United States have increased since the tariffs took effect. Industries using imported metal now need to compensate for the tariff. Considering the majority of metal in our country was imported, domestically-produced metal is now more in demand. The higher metal prices are good for the U.S. metal industry in the short term, but it remains to be seen how the metals market will be affected as time goes on.

In the rest of the world, the prices of non-ferrous metals are dropping and the market seems to be suffering somewhat, especially in the area of copper and nickel. Even in the normally steady ferrous metals market, stainless steel prices have lowered but they still remain relatively stable.

Recycling Remains Important

More than ever, recycling scrap metal is crucial to keeping the United States metal industry well-supplied and booming. It is now more costly to import metal, and that cost trickles down to the products and services consumers pay for. Recycling metal is also more environmentally friendly than mining it. At Klein’s Recycling, we will recycle your scrap metal to help keep costs stable and the environment clean!

Top Reasons Why You Should Be Recycling Scrap Metal

It’s true what they say: one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. When we see scrap metal, we are more likely to think of it as junk rather than part of the multi-billion dollar industry that it is. But the lucrative, obscure world of recycling scrap metal has more benefits than you think.

How Much Scrap Metal Do We Really Have?

A lot. In the United States alone, about 150 million metric tons of scrap metal are produced every year. Think of automobiles, airplanes, appliances, phones, computers, and the many electrically powered products of our everyday lives. Some estimates indicate that the industry diverts more than 120 million tons of scrap metals from landfills every year, generating more than $90.6 billion in revenue.

Helping the Environment

It may sound obvious to say that recycling scrap metal is good for the environment, so let’s talk about some specific examples.

Extracting ore to produce metal is an extremely resource-intensive process. It requires large amounts of manpower and financial investment. It also releases far greater amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere than the process of recycling metal. The process produces 97% less waste and uses 40% less water than mining and processing virgin ore.

Recycling scrap metal also allows us to preserve limited, naturally-occurring resources that have already been significantly depleted. For example, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, recycling a ton of steel conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone.

Finally, metal has the unique privilege of maintaining all of its properties despite repeated recycling. This means that, compared to the production of new metal, there are practically no reasons not to recycle scrap metal.

Boosting the Economy (And Your Own Wallet)

The U.S. scrap industry has nearly half a million employees and creates manifold more jobs than sending the same amount of metal to the incinerator or landfill. The United States also exports about $14.5 billion of scrap metal and their products per year, bringing in huge profits and boosting national GDP.

On a smaller scale, both large and small companies can also reap financial benefits from scrap recycling. They can not only purchase cheaper, recycled metal for manufacturing, but also sell their own scraps to third-party recycling companies like Klein Recycling, and raise their bottom line.

Whether you are a large corporation, small business owner, or a homeowner with scrap metal, don’t lose out on the benefits of scrap metal recycling. Reduce your carbon footprint and maximize your profits today!