Podcast Transcription: Metal Monday Ep. 8 - 2.22.2021

Updated: May 5

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

Nick:

You guys know it, sitting here with Brett on another Monday. How are you doing, man?


Brett:

Last Monday of February, yeah.


Nick:

Already. We're already almost into March.


Brett:

Golly. Well, February's a short month, so I'm okay with that. We're almost to March. It's going to be an exciting March.


Nick:

Things are still running, running hot, man, I mean, copper shoot. I made a post last night just because copper looked like it was just going to be up 10 today.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

It cooled down, but still, I mean we're four-


Brett:

It hit $4.21 overnight.


Nick:

Yeah. Yeah.


Brett:

Which is... That thing is a on a rocket ship, man. I don't know. I've been calling $4. I think $4.50's coming. I think we beat 2013 highs. I think we get it done in the second quarter of this year. I think it's going to happen.


Nick:

April, May, somewhere in there?


Brett:

Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised, and at this pace, I mean, shit, it could happen-


Nick:

March.


Brett:

Yeah. Just never get too high, never get too low, but it's always an interesting market to watch for sure. I mean the precious metals have been running pretty hard, platinum, palladium, rhodium. Silver is up pretty good today. I don't know. Nickel and aluminum, I mean, knock on wood, but everything seems to be kind of hanging in there.


Nick:

That aluminum, I mean, if that thing could get back to your $1.10, $1.20 on the LME, I mean-


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

That'd be... shoot. When was that last like that? 2012 time?


Brett:

Same time. Yeah, same in that range.


Nick:

Then, some of these aluminum... The guys that produce aluminum can actually go get some money from their by-product, get some more money, like we were all accustomed to-


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

... for the longest time. The same with stainless. I mean, I'm excited to pass on those prices when we see them.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

That's one thing that we learned, I learned. I don't sell a lot of material, but some of them get some quotes, like, "You know copper's up like crazy?"


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

You're not really always seeing it. It might be up like crazy, but you're not seeing... People aren't breaking loose.


Brett:

Of the material.


Nick:

They're not breaking loose at that price. They're not giving you that up yet because I think a lot of people... Correct me if I'm wrong. I think a lot of people are a little bit on their heels thinking like, "Is this sustainable? Is this real?" You know?


Brett:

Yeah, and that's why we keep selling into it. Right? I posted something on LinkedIn the other day about I fucked up by selling it at X, Y, Z copper price, but I mean, hindsight's always 20/20, and I'm selling into it, even though I firmly believe that the price is going to go up more. I just don't want to be caught holding the bag on a guess, I mean, on a feeling.


Nick:

Yeah.


Brett:

I mean, we have a business to run. We have employees to feed. We have bills to pay, and as much as I'm cheerleading the market, and as much as I'm feeling like it's going to move and keep moving in this direction, I'm also not going to string us out to dry. Right? I'm still going to move scrap. I'm still going to try and pick my spots. Now, iron's a different story because-


Nick:

Yeah.


Brett:

... we've been doing some maintenance on some equipment and whatever else. We timed it to just take this month off from shipping a lot, maybe next month and the following month, whatever it's going to take to get these prices in line with where we feel they should be, but other than that, you can't sit on everything. We're in the business of buying and selling-


Nick:

Well, we buy-


Brett:

... cutting and processing, moving scrap.


Nick:

We buy enough non-ferrous to absorb that-


Brett:

Exactly.


Nick:

... absorb some of the ferrous. An analogy that's always stuck with me that you told me years ago was like, "You got to look at it like a farmer's crop."


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

When that crop's ready, you ship it no matter what the price is.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

Obviously, there's a little bit of give and take on that analogy, but I've always... because a lot of people that aren't necessarily in the business but sell us some scrap, and I go, "You guys must sit on this until it's ready." I was like, "No. We don't have the luxury of the space."


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

We need some cashflow, too. We got to just keep the wheels moving, so certain products, yes, especially a brass load that we don't get what we get-


Brett:

Well, so yeah-


Nick:

... three, four loads a layer, maybe.


Brett:

Yeah. We don't go too... It's not a big, big item for us.


Nick:

We can pick and choose our battle on that load.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

But the ones that-


Brett:

It's an accumulation over time to build out those loads. Now, we buy a lot of copper, so we ship, and we process, and we sell a lot of copper. Iron and stainless is a big mover for us. We buy, process, sell a lot of stainless. We do pick and choose our spots on that material as well. I mean, we're lucky in the... I heard Dave Weitz, one of the guys we've done some business with around here, a good guy, been in the business for a while, smart. I like him. He said, "You know the difference between us and farmers is farmers get one sale a year. They live and die by that sale." It's either a great one or shit, but we get to sell every day if we want to. You may have took a terrible sale yesterday. You make a good one today. You may have made a good sale yesterday. You're going to take a terrible one today, or this month, or whatever. The advantage of being in the commodities trading, scrap, and recycling business is yesterday's sale is yesterday's sale. You got a chance to make another one today.


Nick:

Well, that-


Brett:

You're never beholden to one sale a year, and so you're a little bit... You got a little more room for error on that.