Podcast Transcription: Metal Monday Ep. 9 - 3.1.2021

Updated: May 5

Hosts, Nick Snyder and Brett Ekart, talk about their weekend shenanigans and the scrap market prices for the week of March 1, 2021.

Nick:

All right, Metal Monday, March 1st. How are you doing?


Brett:

I'm good man. I'm excited. I mean the... February's over, onwards and upwards to March, and let's get this party started.


Nick:

It is crazy we're in March. It's crazy the run we've had so far, this 2021 and I mean, copper came off last week. I mean, it probably hit its peak, was it Tuesday when we hit that peak?


Brett:

Wednesday I think.


Nick:

Was it Wednesday? So Thursday, Friday, it really came off like what, 10, 20 cents?


Brett:

Yeah, from $4.35 to, at the peak somewhere in that range, to $4.10, four somewhere in there at the end of Friday.


Nick:

Yeah, I think it's still around like $4.10. Kitco has it $4.15 right now but still, I mean, shoot, six months ago we would have begged for $4.15 copper.


Brett:

Oh yeah, dude. We have no... if you're in the scrap business and you've complained about $4.15 copper, then I'm sorry, but you're barking up the wrong tree.


Nick:

So we've been seeing a lot better flow. We've got a few electricians that we took care of last week. We hit them at the top. We got them locked in because you were able to move some material at the top so we're able to pass that value back down to the electricians that we took care of one 15,000 pounds in one day and he saved it. He told me he saved that stuff for two years so that guy... You don't always win like that when you save for two years, but that guy won. Yeah.


Brett:

That guy probably would have... Was prepared to save for eight years.


Nick:

Yeah, he could've, he was building a new property.


Brett:

Yeah, it's one of those deals so... For us, I mean, the good thing about higher prices is it does bring some of those deals out of the woodwork that you've been kind of working on or chasing or didn't maybe even know of, but hopefully, this market will sustain itself. I remember sitting here about last February, March, and we were slapping hands and talking about how great and all of a sudden COVID was starting and then, man it was a shit show. We had jobs going on everywhere. We were in Denver, just grabbing some windmill-


Nick:

We were-


Brett:

We had a lot going on and all of a sudden it was just like, the music was about to stop and everybody's looking for a chair.


Nick:

We were in Texas filming a podcast and this is right after we locked in 100, 000 - 150,000 pound copper, like kind of a contract, more of a verbal type deal. I remember we're like, "God, the market's kind of taking a shit today." and then we were in that Ramtin podcast for like two hours. By the time we got out of it, copper was down like 25 cents and then we were already... So we're all happy. We were like, "Oh, we got 150,000 pounds of copper locked in." and then we didn't have our price locked in, but we got to honor our word. If you don't have.... you can't stand on your word, like you're not going to be in this business long so...


Brett:

No. We bought all of it and we took a bath on it for a while but the thing that we did differently, I think that, well A) we didn't hedge it and I guess maybe that's an argument for the hedgers out there. Pete Thomas, I got you.


Speaker 3:

Pete, you listening?


Brett:

Pete, we should've hedged it but at the end of the day, we actually came out better because we actually didn't hedge it and we just sat all the way down to two then we rode it all the way back up to a pretty good price so we came out... It worked in our favor, but there for a while, it looked like it was going to be a tough one. It wasn't going to be good.


Nick:

It's just funny like you put things in perspective like it's easy to get down on like the market or down like... you're like shit we lost 30 grand on a deal but when you put it in like macro perspective, it really can, for me, that helps me dial myself back in and I'm like, God -


Brett:

Well, dude I totally forgot about that, like you just brought that up. I fucking hadn't even thought about it. I was already thinking about March like this year, trying to figure out what we're going to do so....


Nick:

So I just kind of like put things in perspective, like oh, now things are great and even back then things were still good. I knew we'd come out on top. We'd have to be patient and sit, but... And everything else looks strong. I mean, I'm looking on my phone right here platinum, palladium, rhodium still, just...


Brett:

They took a bath on Friday. The precious metals did, silver included. They're com... They may, or they're making it come back today. Copper is kind of hanging around, it came up a couple of cents. I don't... I think that nickel's getting stronger. I sold a bunch of stainless on Friday, a number I hadn't seen in a while so I felt pretty good about that. I think that market's got room to run too. Ferrous prices are going to come up this month. I don't know how much, but I'm anticipating, I'm hoping that we see back to January pricing at least this month. I think that that's could be an option. The price of new steel is screaming, which is affecting a lot of the mill supply, say like on our steel... On our corrugated steel pipe business.


Brett:

I mean, supply is getting tougher to come by just because manufacturers that are also trying to buy hot-rolled, cold-rolled steel are running into issues, which is... Then jams up any of that coil that they're making steel pipe... CMP out of it, the jams add up to so definitely supply chain issues right now but the pricing appears to be pretty strong going into March so we're looking forward to that.


Nick:

Do you ever see mid-month raises on your price in the steel mills?


Brett:

I've seen it, yeah. It depends on the relationship you have with the... you don't see it in the steel mill because you lock in your tons out at the beginning of the month. So you... If you're going to see a mid-month raises, you're going to see them in... On the shredder side. So like-


Nick:

So see them from the shredders.


Brett:

Yeah.


Nick:

But will those steel mills drop you in mid-month though?


Brett:

No.


Nick:

They'll lock you.


Brett:

If you lock the tons, you locked the tons. Now what you can do if the market's moving up higher and they anticipate the market moving up higher and let's say you know you're going to be able to make your commitment for that month, I have seen it and I think it does happen at a fairly regularly when the market's moving up is the steel mill, try and get ahead of those that, that movement and maybe by mid-month, add more tons to an existing contract at XYZ price so I think that's about... that's how you would see that mid-month raise, but by you'd have to add tons to the... What you had already sold previously.


Nick:

Got it. Yeah, I've always kind of wondered how some of those workings go, especially like with the... When I do hear about a drop mid-month and we're committed, it goes back to keeping our word. You just got to eat it sometimes.


Brett:

Yeah you just got to eat it sometimes. It is was it is. I mean, that's just the nature of the beast for what we do.


Nick:

Well Cool, well next week we'll be able to kind of have some clarity on where March lands and we'll see where things go.


Brett:

Yep, have a great day.


Nick:

Thanks.

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