Copper Price Per Pound Going Strong Post-Pandemic

Copper recycling prices have been on the rebound since a  copper price per pound low of $2.17 which occurred in March of 2020. Now that economies around the world are opening up after dealing with more than a year of coronavirus-induced shutdowns, there is increased demand for this metal. As of this writing copper prices in Los Angeles is $4.39.

Los Angeles and the rest of the United States are no exception to this pent up demand for scrap copper.  Whole industries came to a screeching halt as COVID-19 took its toll on the workforce. Despite the arrival of new variants to the virus, by and large the second half of 2021 looks more like 2019 than 2020.

According to an article in Investing News, there is a global demand for new construction. New homes account for nearly 50% of worldwide copper demand, especially for things like copper plumbing due to its anti corrosive properties. The article also mentions increased demand from things such as renewable energy projects (wind and solar) since copper’s conductive properties are well known. Anything involving electricity and wiring will almost always require copper.

Copper mine aerial view
Copper mine aerial view

The big player in worldwide copper prices is, of course, China, which continues to expand its economy and which will be looking to build new housing and undertake new infrastructure projects as we enter 2022. As Investing News reports, the demand from the Asian nation will increase to more than 13 million tons of the metal.

Copper Supply Decreasing

Copper mines appear to be reaching a limit on how much of the material is still available and new discoveries have not yielded many results in recent years. This, plus the fact that some mines around the world were hit by labor shortages due to the coronavirus have decreased supply levels worldwide and conversely increased demand and of course prices.

Dwindling copper supplies are driving copper prices per pound higher

For Los Angeles scrap copper buyers, copper’s steady rise in price mean increased profits. Even compared to  earlier this year when copper’s price was a little over $3.00, the increase means profits for both buyers and sellers of the metal have gone up around 25%. For local scrappers this means that even those items that necessarily bring a lower recycling price (e.g., copper wire) because of the labor involved in extracting the copper from the plastic coating, are going to look more attractive. With no extra effort, scrappers will be able to see a 25% increase in how much they can get from bringing items like copper wire to the recycling center.

Based on all the relevant information and projections for the next year it looks like copper pricing may continue to climb to new heights. That’s good news for scrap copper recycling centers as well as the scrappers who provide the metals to them.