Like anything else in the economy, it's difficult to "know" when scrap metal prices are going to rise or even fall further. The best you can do is follow the forecasts and what the markets are telling you today. We understand that this can be frustrating, but there's not really much more you can do. In this article, we have outlined what we know and what we don't know about scrap prices, as well as what you can do to survive in the meantime.
What do we know?
Market Prices - In commodities like copper, gold and steel you can expect the price to drop almost immediately. Likewise, when the market appears to be climbing again you can expect prices across the board to follow suit. Keep an eye on these sorts of websites.
Industry Need - At the end of the day, it all comes down to a case of supply and demand. If there is a small need for materials, you can expect prices to drop. If there is a relatively high need for materials, however, you can expect the prices to rise exponentially. This is why you should buy when demand is low and sell when demand is high.
International Trade - When countries that import a lot of scrap (such as China and India) begin to slow down their imports, you'll find that prices will drop. This is actually quite similar to supply and demand - if these countries are running low on commodity supplies, the need for them will go up and so will the prices they're willing to pay.
Important to Cash In - There are a lot of people who will disagree with this statement, but we feel it's important to continue cashing in the scrap you collect even when the market is low. By hanging onto it, you're taking a gamble that the market won't drop again (which means that your profit will be even lower than it would be now).
What don't we know?
Beyond the Market - Unfortunately, there is no possible way to see the future. This means that, beyond what the markets are forecasting for a few months in advance, we have no way of telling what the future will bring. Perhaps the market will increase tenfold in the next few years, perhaps it will plummet even further.
How Much They'll Climb - Even if the markets do begin to recover and scrap metal prices are beginning to rise, it's difficult to predict how much they're going to continue to climb. As we mentioned earlier about prices dropping, the market can only forecast so far into the future - therefore, we don't know the potential rise.
World Events - We also don't know if there will be any events or economic collapses in the future that will throw the world's economy off (like what happened in Greece). Whilst it's certainly a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected, it's impossible to know exactly what will happen and exactly when it will occur.
So, in the meantime, what can you do? Basically, you should follow the market and report your scrap metal prices. The choice of continuing to scrap or hold onto your materials is entirely yours, but you should keep an eye on what prices are doing and add to the information available if possible. This will help out other sellers like yourself who are also feeling the pinch. And, when the market begins to rise, you'll be able to jump on it.