Scrapping metals can be a hard way to turn junk to cash, but if you’re willing to do the work, the return will be worth it no doubt.
Scrap metal prices change every day, whether you’re in Australia or anywhere else. The prices you get for selling scrap metal depend primarily on the supply and demand for those metals. So, in-demand metals with limited supply—such as copper, brass, nickel, and tin—will be worth more than any metal.
In this guide, you’ll see the current scrap metal prices in Australia. However, please take note that those prices fluctuate all the time. This article will also explain why those prices change, what raises and lowers them, and which metals are consistently worth the most.
Which Scrap Metal Is Worth the Most Money?
Some of the most expensive scrap metals include copper, brass, nickel, and tin. They’re worth more money than other metals because of the law of supply and demand.
These metals share two things in common. Firstly, a lot of industries need these metals because they’re used in many applications. Secondly, these metals are not as readily available as others.
When you combine those two factors, the prices for these metals stay high, even as scrap metals.
Let’s look at each of these metals to understand why they can fetch you high prices as scrap metals:
Copper is arguably the best conductor of both electricity and heat. That means it’s helpful in a wide range of applications such as electrical equipment and anything that involves thermodynamics (e.g., air conditioners).
As a result, the demand for copper is incredibly high and its price as scrap constantly high.
There’s also a high demand for brass, partially because it’s so easy to machine. So, manufacturers love brass for making smooth, low-friction parts like bearings, valves, gears, and more.
As you've seen in the previous section, high demand from various industries means that the price of brass is consistently high. Brass might be challenging to find, but you can earn a fair chunk of change by scrapping it if you have it.
Nickel is another high-demand metal, which means there's a high price for it as scrap. This metal is incredibly durable and hard, and it can be recycled and reused an unlimited number of times.
The demand for nickel comes from how it's strong and easily formed into different shapes. Besides, abrasions and impact don't damage nickel the same way they would affect other metals.
Some people refer to tin as the 'spice metal' because it's so often used with other metals. Like all the other metals on this list, the high demand for tin results from it being used in so many different applications.
You'll find tin used for food packaging and in the electronics industry, among many other uses.
How Much Do I Get for Scrap Metal?
Here are a few estimates for the money you can get per kilogram of scrap metal. Bear in mind that scrap metal prices change daily based on market factors like supply and demand.
Besides that, individual scrap metal recyclers will offer you slightly different prices for the same kinds of metal to compensate for their overhead costs and profit margins.
Still, these approximate prices should give you a clearer idea about how much you can make for the scrap metals you have.
Type Of Scrap Metal
Approximate Price Per Kilogram
If parting out is too much trouble for you, you can sell a whole car for metal scrapping and get quick cash for it. This Perth scrap metal recycler, for instance, will get your junked whole cars (any condition) for $260.
Why Do Scrap Metal Prices Keep Changing?
Scrap metal prices keep changing almost daily. That’s true for any scrap metal in Brisbane as it is for scrap sold on the other side of the world in the Middle East.
As a result, you’ll not likely get the same price for the scrap metals you’re selling. There are four reasons why:
- Supply and demand: Market forces like supply and demand are things that no one can control, yet they have the most significant impact on scrap metal prices. Expensive scrap metals are those that are in demand yet have limited supply. On the other hand, cheaper ones are those that are readily available but with fewer people or industries wanting to buy them.
- Quality: How much you can fetch at a scrap metal recycler also depends on the quality of the metal you have. The higher the quality, the more value it’ll hold, and the more money you can sell it for.
- Quantity: The amount of scrap metal you’re selling also plays a role. For example, you might not get much if you only bring in one or two small pieces. However, if you’re selling scrap metal in bulk on an ongoing basis, you’ll have more power to negotiate prices with recyclers.
- Recycler’s Profit: Never forget two things. Firstly, scrap metal recycling is a business, so recyclers have business overheads to pay for. Secondly, each recycler has different profit margins. So, while recyclers try to be as competitive as possible, they have to account for those two things when setting any scrap metal price.
When Is the Best Time to Sell Scrap Metal?
If you’re trying to time your scrap metal sales, here are a couple of tips for you.
The best time of year to sell scrap metal is during the warmer months. Construction activity tends to be the most active during those times of the year, resulting in significantly higher demand for scrap metals.
Besides that, you can also try selling your scrap metal on weekdays instead of the weekend. This timing doesn’t affect the price, though it will impact your experience. Most people use their free time on weekends to sell scrap at the recyclers, so you can beat the crowd by saving yours for Monday through Friday.
Of course, you do have the option of using scrap metal pickups instead. Some recyclers are willing to come out to your location to do scrap metal pickups, so find out if this is available in your city/state/territory. Check this out for scrap metal recyclers near you!
Don’t forget to read the latest automotive blog posts at CarpartAU. We update our blog daily to keep you informed and up-to-speed with the goings-on in the automotive world!
By Ray Hasbollah