Which Scrap Metal is Worth the Most in 2019?

When you come to sell your scrap metal for the second time, you might find you get less – or more! – for it than last time. Scrap metal prices change all the time – sometimes fairly dramatically from one week to the next.

It’s all down to a variety of factors around supply and demand across the world, with prices set by the London Metals Exchange. While we’ll always aim to give you the best price for scrap metal that we can at Singletons, you can get an idea of what metals are going up in price, and which ones are going down, from looking at LME’s trends.

Let’s take a look at three metals that are commonly sold for scrap – while this is by no means an exact science, with prices mostly shown for new metals, priced by the tonne in US dollars, it will give you an idea of whether you can expect to get more or less for certain types of scrap in 2019.



Copper is almost always one of the most valuable metals that can be sold for scrap and, as you can see in the below graph, prices rose consistently from the start of the year. However, looking at figures from all of 2018, prices are generally lower following a large fall in June 2018, evening out recently at a much lower level than this time last year.

Chart showing Copper on LME

That said, scrap copper almost always sells for a good price in the UK – even when the value is relatively lower, it will earn you much more than a lot of other scrap metals.



Lead isn’t exactly widely used in everyday household items anymore, but you may still find it in old car parts, pipes and toys in the garage or loft. A great example of supply and demand, lead prices generally rise and fall quite dramatically and – as you’ll see in the graph below – the current trend is a downward one.

However, due to the fact it’s quite scarce around the house these days, you may find you get a better price for it than many other metals.

Chart showing Lead on LME


Steel scrap

As the widest-used metal in the world, scrap steel prices aren’t the highest compared to other metals, as so much of it is produced. However, because of how much it is used, you can see some pretty dramatic rises and falls in its prices when demand suddenly surges or disappears. Take a look at the graph below and you’ll see that one such leap happened back in January.

Chart showing Steel on LME

Look at figures going back to 2017 and you’ll see huge rises and falls every few months. The fact that a huge rise at the start of 2019 is being followed by a gradual fall could mean we’re due to see another sudden big dip.


While metal prices do fluctuate, the impact for scrap metal sellers isn’t quite as dramatic as it is for metal traders – if you have any questions about it then please do get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help!


Back to all blog posts