There’s an undoubted growth in the scrap metal industry that sees more people than ever involved in the buying, selling and recycling of material. From scrap metal merchants like ourselves, all the way down to members of the public who see an opportunity for profit, our sector attracts people from all walks of life. In Norwood alone, we’re seeing a level of active sector involvement that’s unprecedented in our 65 years of local and regional trading.
Our yard, located in Sydenham, is just three miles away from Norwood and accepts all types of ferrous and non-ferrous material. Scrap from factory demolitions, warehouse clearances, construction work and even house renovations passes through the hands of our scrap metal merchants every day. Those who come to our yard always have one burning question:
WHY DO RATES FOR SCRAP METAL VARY SO MUCH?
There is no single answer for this because scrap metal merchants, just like traders in any other commodity, face different influencing factors on a daily basis. One of the biggest considerations to affect customers and clients from the Norwood area is the current market price for virgin metal. Freshly-mined material and scrap metal fluctuate in price together so, if the rate for virgin copper rises, the rate for scrap copper will then rise accordingly.
Another thing to consider is the cost of production. It is cheaper to recycle scrap metal, and more efficient in terms of energy use, than it is to mine for virgin material. This makes recycled material more desirable and increases demand so, based on requests from industries and the supply line available, scrap metal merchants vary their rates. The more demand there is and the less scrap there is available, the better the rate you receive.
Many of the sole traders, small businesses and organisations we deal with from Norwood understand these fluctuations and wait until rates meet premium levels before selling to our scrap metal merchants – a smart business move for those with a little patience.
To understand demand, let’s take copper as an example.
Whenever the country goes through a housing boom, builders and construction companies order huge quantities of copper piping, wire and cable. Rates stay consistent while demand stays consistent but, should demand increase or if scarcity occurs further down the supply chain, the rates for copper rise. The reverse happens when the housing market crashes.
Scrap metal merchants are no different to stockbrokers in that effect.
The rates for rare metals fluctuate more than most. Clients and customers in the Norwood area might find that global politics or rising transportation costs increase demand for scrap, especially with materials sourced overseas. When foreign suppliers increase their export costs, industries look closer to home for the metals they need. Scrap metal merchants experience more demand and those who bring their materials to us receive higher rates.
On the flip side, positive trade agreements between two countries lower our rates.
Another factor to influence scrap metal prices is the cost of fuel. Virgin or recycled, it takes a sizeable amount of energy to produce metal. If a foundry has to pay more for coal, gas or electricity to create sheets or rods of steel, for example, the cost of metal rises too. Scrap metal merchants therefore pay more for consignments in Norwood when fuel prices rise.
However the market stands, we promise to treat all customers fairly and to pay the exact market rate on the day of delivery or collection. Most scrap metal merchants in Norwood and the surrounding South East London area work to the same indicators as we do. This means you can use us with confidence knowing we’ll never, and we mean never, underbuy.
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