How Does Weather Affect Scrap Metal Prices?

Alumunum Scrap

Winter brings with it cold, wet weather that affects our mood, how we eat, and even what activities we engage in, but did you know it also affects the scrap metal industry? There is less scrap metal available during the winter months, which means scrap metal recycling slows down, as well. These conditions can actually raise the price of available scrap metal. But why should the weather affect scrap metal?

Fewer Construction Projects

When the weather is cold and snowy, most construction projects slow down, or even take a pause. No one wants to spend hours outside working. Because of that, scrap metal that comes from construction projects becomes less available – or even unavailable. Even plumbing work slows down, aside from emergency jobs like frozen pipes. Therefore, scrap metal from plumbing jobs is much more difficult to come by in the winter.

Scrappers Leave Town

Recycling plants rely on people to sell or donate their scrap metal from junk cars, construction projects, and even smaller projects that lead to an accumulation of scrap metal. People who would ordinarily sell scrap metal or have work done on their house that produces scrap metal tend to go on vacation during the winter months, especially around the holidays in December and January, or for President’s Day weekend (and longer, if you have kids off from school that entire week) in February.

Delayed Transportation of Scrap Metal Material

When the weather is bad, trucks hauling scrap metal take longer to get to their destinations. They may be held up by blinding snow, slippery roads, or heavy rains. Cargo ships may be unable to deliver their scrap metal load due to bad weather at sea. This delay in scrap metal delivery slows down the industry, which as a direct effect on scrap metal prices.

Weather Can Affect the Price of Scrap Metal

The American Metal Market magazine reported a projected increase in the price of scrap metal for March, and one shredder in the Southern U.S. has attributed part of this increase to the heavy rains those states have experienced this winter. After all, the demand is still there, but the supply has diminished. That said, most scrappers interviewed reported that are keeping their buying prices down for now. It remains to be seen how prices fluctuate as we head into Spring, but you can rest assured that recycling plants such as Klein’s Recycling, will always be working hard to recycle scrap metal all year long!