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Scrap Metal Market Update April 2020

I hope that everyone is staying safe and relatively sane during these challenging times. 


As a business, this isn’t the first pandemic that Joseph & Company was operated through, but I think that it is safe to say that for all of us, this will hopefully be our first and last.


Being classed as an essential business aside, this isn’t business as normal for any industry or operation.  Barring those who are making medical or other front-line supplies, we are all reviewing our operations to ensure that we are maximizing our efforts to keep our team employed safely and our business operating efficiently.


Where we are hoping to support our family of businesses and entrepreneurs we work with is to ensure that we are able to give the accurate and timely market information and ensure that our team is there to support your business where we can.


So on that note, I wanted to shoot over some information relating to the stainless scrap metal market.  Commodities, as we have seen with all base metals and oil, seem to be as hard hit as any asset class.  Not withstanding, the mills are seeing ample supply coming in, however, limited sales, as industry across North America and Europe is taking a hit as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns and a quickly slowing economy as a result.  Although China seems to be getting through the worst of their experience, there seems to be some issues with the integrity of their numbers and general reporting of their experience.


As a result, we are seeing scrap pricing for many items taking a significant hit for the April market – likely heading into May as well.  As the article attached notes, we are seeing a steady decline in stainless pricing – whether 304, 316 or 400 series.  The saving grace for Canadians is that our exchange has supported prices based on CAD.  By example, 304 prices have declined in USD by over 15c in the past month (apx. 30%-35%), however, the USD exchange has added apx 10% to the price, so the actual hit in CAD has been only around 15-20% on average.


We are seeing this across the board with all commodities, so if you produce other scraps, expect a similar analysis.


However, we are resilient business community and when life gives us lemons, we COVID-19 some lemonade.  So if anyone was questions or wants to chat about business in general, please feel free to contact me.  We are in this together and likely are sharing similar experiences.



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