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Exports up for Canadian ferrous scrap processors

By Bill Beck - May 22, 2017

Ask a scrap dealer or buyer on the East Coast of the United States about exports, and the reply will likely be pessimistic. Ask the same question to a dealer or buyer in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the answer is likely to be far different.

Industry Survey of Factors Affecting the Upcoming Market

Imagine having advanced notice of what your allies, competitors, peers and clients are thinking about what's to come in each new monthly scrap market. Scrap Trends Outlook, delivers an exclusive look at where prices, supplies, demand and other factors may be heading. Each month, Scrap Trends Outlook gives you a chance to listen in on the emerging industry conversation about the upcoming scrap market and provides a comprehensive tool for buyers and sellers to gaze into an industry consensus of where the price and availability of scrap may be heading.

Numbers and Letters

A quick look at key points expected to affect next month's markets


The number of years in the past decade that scrap prices have seen mixed results in June markets. Prices have fallen three times, been up twice and were mixed in the other five years. Many are predicting mixed results yet again, as prime grades could be up or sideways while cut grades may fall or hold steady due to variations in demand.


The Scrap Trends Outlook trend number for mill factors, which include perceived demand, orders, production, inventory, home/captive scrap and slowdowns. The market believes mills and foundries will be very near their performance levels from May, which could keep prices from falling too hard and even may help push some scrap values up.


The percentage of respondents to this month’s survey who expect June prices to be sideways or up. Only three percent say an increase is possible. However, a majority – 72 percent – is looking for no change at all. Because the remaining 24
percent say decreases are coming, the overall forecast leans toward a sideways to soft sideways June.

Our Methodology

Scrap Trends Outlook Methodology: A numerical value is given to the overall trend for the upcoming month after all the survey results of a series of 15 indexes are calculated based on a weighted average. A number close to 50 will give a ‘sideways’ or ‘unchanged’ reading, while numbers above 50 will give a reading for a bullish trend. The closer to 100, the more likely it is that prices will trend upward. Conversely, a number below 50 will give a reading for a bearish trend. The closer to 0, the more likely it is that prices will trend downward. N/A means there were too few survey responses to publish a reliable figure.

Taking Account

A look at how Scrap Trends Outlook Index numbers for May stacked up against actual changes in last month's market.

Prime Grades

May Review
May Review
May outlook:
Bullish (48.7)
May's actual change:
Busheling: + $7/2% 
Bundles: + $7/2% 

Cut Grades

May Review
May Review
May outlook:
Bullish (47.2)
May's actual change:
No. 1 HM: + $7/3% 
P&S: + $9/3% 

Frag Grades

May Review
May Review
May outlook:
Bullish (43.2)
May's actual change:
Shred: + $5/2% 

Foundry Grades

May Review
May Review
May outlook:
Bullish (47.8)
May's actual change:
Punchings: + $3/1% 
Misc. Foundry: - $2/1% 

10 Things to Watch

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Export is expected to be weaker, especially from Turkey, but also with a downward push from China
Finished steel prices remain somewhat unresolved
Historically, June has been a sideways-to-weak month
Service center demand is expected to decline

Too much scrap could be awaiting fewer buyers
Although May prices rose a bit, no one anticipates a significant scrap rebound during the next few weeks
Local inventories may be higher than during last month
Raw steel capacity utilization rates have been stagnant

Mill inventories may be on the rise; home scrap steady

Auto issues create some summer economic uncertainty

Notable Quotes about Next Month

" June-July – Anticipated strong demand to continue, particularly from flat side of biz. July auto slowdowns plus added demand from (Big River Steel) will add fury to demand for prime."
" Mill and foundry demand continues fairly strong while supply is weak."
" Flow into the yard has remained below normal."
" Steel (HRC) imports are down significantly. Service centers are sitting on 2-month inventory. Europe demand is on the decline, driving prices down globally."
" Shutdowns will happen in July which will not impact June’s buy too much."
" Scrap yards are trying to hold their pricing."