What are the current prices of scrap metal in the UK?
As you are probably aware, scrap metal prices are changing continually. These prices are ultimately set by supply and demand at a local level. If you live in a region where businesses are readily accepting scrap metal, then it is likely that prices will remain high all year round. Conversely if this is not the case, then prices may fluctuate continually. It is important to note that the prices can vary considerably from one city to another. As a result of these continual price variations, it is notoriously difficult to understand what is a good price and what is not.
We have provided some guidance on this page using aggregated data from local scrap yards in the UK, however it is only an estimate and so take it with a pinch of salt. We find that the best way to determine a good price in your local area is to phone up all of your dealers and see what they are able to offer you for the metal in question.
How can I work out the weight of my scrap metal?
Fortunately in the UK we use the metric system to weigh up scrap metal. Consequently it is very easy to work out how much you will get for either of these units. Simply put:
1000 kg = 1 tonne
So if you are going to earn £3 per kilo of scrap copper, you will receive £3000 per tonne of it. The opposite also works, you just need to divide the rate per tonne by 1000 to find out how much your scrap metal is worth per kilo.
What is the price of scrap metal per kg?
There are many factors involved in weighing up how much your scrap metal is worth, the main points in order of priority are;
- Type of metal
- Weight of metal
- Metal grading
There are many types of metals which are traded frequently in the scrap metal industry, some of the most popular forms are; copper, aluminium and steel. Once you know what metal you have, you need to figure out how much it weighs, in the UK the scrap metal industry utilises the metric system (kilos and tonnes). Following this, you need to identify what grade of metal you have, there are many variations for each type of metal and so you will need to spend some time researching this. Finally, as discussed in many of the above sections, it is important to recognise that scrap metal prices vary substantially based upon location.
How to work out scrap metal prices per tonne?
If you know what price you are going to receive for a kilo of your scrap metal, then you simply need to multiply this figure by 1000 to find out what a tonne gets you. Please take a look at the below example to see this in action:
- Metal type: Copper
- Price per kilo (kg): £3
- Price per tonne = price per kilo x 1000 = 3 x 1000 = £3000
Will scrap metal prices go up in 2019?
It is extremely likely that scrap metal prices will increase throughout 2019, there are various factors which will impact this in the UK, as outlined below. Firstly, inflation will push the prices up by a marginal amount, this is virtually guaranteed every year. Secondly, the pound is performing poorly against foreign currencies currently and so scrap metal prices will likely see an uplift in cost, in line with the price of importing metals abroad. Furthermore, we’ve seen prices increasing steadily over the past five or so years and so it is not far-fetched to estimate that this will continue. Obviously prices do indeed vary between each type of metal, but generally they are all trending upwards.
What types of scrap metal gradings are there?
This is a very difficult question to answer, simply because there are so many variations of scrap metal gradings within each type of metal. Copper for example has three sub-divisions (grades 1, 2 and 3), aluminium has two main groupings and some other metals have many more. As you can see, there are a significant amount of gradings and so defining what grade you have on any one piece of metal can be challenging. While it may be time consuming work, it is definitely worth it. If you take your metal to your local scrap yard and tell them exactly what weight of scrap you have, split out by grading, you will come across as knowledgeable and therefore should receive a much better final price.
How much is a water heater worth for scrap?
Old water heaters are commonly made using copper and so they can be worth a lot of money to scrap yards in the UK. More modern water heaters are made using cheaper materials and so they are not worth quite as much money. Once you have determined what material the water heater is made from, you should then weigh it and use the pricing estimations per kilo from our scrap metal pricing table.
How much is scrap cable worth?
Scrap cable can be extremely valuable if it is made from certain materials (for example: copper or aluminium), however other materials may be worth considerably less (for example: steel or brass).
Will tariffs affect scrap metal prices?
If you live in the UK, you are unlikely to be impacted by any tariffs that are currently being talked about in the media. These will typically impact people who are trading with the United States and so they are largely not relevant to us over here. This is due to the United Kingdom only exporting very small quantities of our scrap metal to the US.
What are the best things to scrap for money?
The best household items that can be sold as scrap metal are as follows;
- water heaters
- pans, pots and cutlery