Podcast Transcription: Metal Monday Ep. 12 - 3.22.2021

Hosts, Nick Snyder and Brett Ekart, talk about their weekend shenanigans and the scrap market prices for the week of March 22, 2021.

Nick:

All right, welcome everybody. We're sitting here on... What is the date? March-


Brett:

March 22nd.


Nick:

March 22nd.


Brett:

We'll round this month out. It's going to be a bang.


Nick:

This is going to be your last Metal Monday of March?


Brett:

No, I think there's one more.


Nick:

We got one more.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

Okay. So, what's iron doing? We thought it was going to look good. Everyone was thinking April might be up, but it looks like that might not be the case.


Brett:

I think everybody's getting cold feet. It's like everybody's getting nervous. I mean, I think that prices are coming down. The export prices are coming down, and a lot of it's, I think the dollar's strengthening up and there's that big news in Turkey yesterday that dropped the Lira, I think it was like 15%, which that doesn't really help our cause-


Nick:

Mm-hmm.


Brett:

-on the scrap side, at least for the Turkey market. So it'll be interesting to see on the ferrous side what's going on. The price of new steel is still strong. I mean, they're setting record highs; cold-roll, hot-roll, coal. So it's just hard for me to believe that the market's just going to fall all the way out.


Nick:

Mm-hmm.


Brett:

But I guess we'll see.


Nick:

Well, I saw a letter on LinkedIn from Nucor to their customers for new steel that April 5th or something, everything's getting hiked up.


Brett:

Mm-hmm.


Nick:

I forget the amount. I saw you posted some, not the actual article, but just the headlines from AMM-


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

-about Nucor's first-quarter earnings just being off the charts, like the best ever.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

So I think it's hard, especially when... Because a lot of our customers, they buy new steel, so they see that. And then they buy-


Brett:

Or new aluminum, and here you are telling them, "Hey, you're formula priced, so your price of scrap's going to go down in April," and they're like, "You got to be shitting me." And I'm like, "No."


Nick:

Yeah.


Brett:

I mean, "I'm telling you the fucking truth. The price is going down." And they're like, "Well, how come the price in new steel, A) we can't buy it. If we can buy spot tons or spot material, it's egregiously expensive."


Nick:

Mm-hmm.


Brett:

And you're like, "Hey, I'm just the guy. I'm the lowest man on the totem pole. I'm the scrap guy, and you're going to have to trust me that the price really is coming down in April."


Nick:

So is the supply not... Are they not able to supply all the orders right now, is what you're saying?


Brett:

You know, essentially there's definitely more demand on the new steel side than there is on- for the supply.


Nick:

Uh-huh.


Brett:

I mean, I think the scrap exists to make it, but I think that the steel mills and the tube mills and the rebar mills, they're supply-constrained to a certain extent. And, there's a lot of capacity coming online later this year and in 2022 that's going to provide some relief. But, I think right now, unless the export market continues to suck up tons, then the domestic steel mills are going to be able to kind of do what they do, which is right now, buy cheap scrap and sell expensive new steel.


Nick:

Okay. Well, copper is holding strong. Copper has been around that $4.10 mark. Up-


Brett:

$4.15-ish today or something like that.


Nick:

Yeah, it's up today, but all week since last Metal Monday, we've seen it bouncing around $4.08 all the way to $4.12, $4.15 today-


Brett:

Mm-hmm.


Nick:

-which is good. I mean, we found kind of its new median.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

Where it probably should be. Now, if we see it take a run to $5.00 I don't know if that will happen or if we'd see-


Brett:

Yeah. It'll be interesting, obviously, to pay attention to nickel. The price of stainless just came off-


Nick:

Mm-hmm.


Brett:

-about a dime, at least on the $3.04 side, just because nickel took such a beating the last couple of weeks.


Nick:

Mm-hmm.


Brett:

You know what, lead is kind of in that same range. It hasn't come off a dime. Lead is still just kind of hanging around. It feels like the export market is a little bit stronger on lead stuff right now than the domestic. Platinum, palladium, rhodium; you saw palladium come off, or at least rhodium came off, almost dipped into the low 20's, and then right back up-


Nick:

Roared back.


Brett:

-to $28, $29 again.


Nick:

Yep.


Brett:

Palladium's been on fire. So, I mean, I think it hit $27,050, $27,060 last week while I was gone, and then it had platinum still hanging around that high 11s to 12s, so the converter side of the business the precious metals side of the business is strong. There's a lot to be thankful for. The scrap steel price maybe not as much, but I think that deal's going to turn around.


Nick:

Yeah, so do I.


Brett:

I'm positive about that.


Nick:

Okay. We'll keep watching it.


Brett:

All right, man.


Nick:

Thanks.


Brett:

Take care.