View Full Version : Brightside of Economic Slowdown - Materials Price Declines

10-07-2008, 10:33 AM
Looking on the brightside of the economic slowdown and strengthening dollar, the price for commodity aluminum has fallen below a dollar a pound for the first time in a long time, and copper is down over a dollar from the heights during the summer. It will take a little while for the prices to start working through the market, much like it seems to take forever for gas prices to fall, but there is a brightside to all of this.

10-07-2008, 11:48 AM
OH NO, I've been collecting scrap so I could retire a millionaire.

10-07-2008, 12:25 PM
I have a tub of about 75 pounds of aluminum chips that are now worth about the gas it would take to drop them off. And then add in the aggravation factor of dealing with the wonderful people at the yard, and it is almost easier to just trash them.

10-07-2008, 12:58 PM
Mike, are you quoting the prices at Westbrook, or the wholesale prices on the spot market?

It seems like metal retail prices go up with the commodity (spot) market instantly, but take a long time to correct back down.

10-07-2008, 01:17 PM
Actually, we are already seeing major improvements. When *buying* scrap (at the few yards that will let you), we've been paying over $0.40/lb for steel. Just last week a friend of mine called to say he was now paying about half that (don't recall exact amount)...

10-07-2008, 02:13 PM
Don't get in a hurry for Westbrook to drop prices, but if you are buying full piece Trident is a great place and WAY cheaper than Westbrook for aluminum. I got a quote on a 1000 pound lot in January that was 28 cents over spot price, so I was impressed. You do have to open an account with them and they seem to prefer you calling the order in before you come by to pick it up, but they are pretty easy to work with. Westbrook is good for small pieces, and Lamar is OK for steel, but not nearly as competitive as they were when they were on North Lamar.

10-07-2008, 09:22 PM
Prices at the local distributor will drop only as inventory changes,old stock bought in at the higher price will have to be sold out and re-stocked before we see any move down.

Scrap just fell to $.075/lb last week here,it has already bottomed and is expected to rise again around the middle of Dec.

Prices for certain products like pipe won't see any change since demand still out paces supply.

J Tiers
10-07-2008, 09:28 PM
Besides, prices are lower because people aren't buying, because they aren't being hired to do work.........

The "bright side" seems to be brighter for "bottom-feeders" than for working stiffs.