Introduction to Scrap Metal Prices in South Africa

Scrap Metal Prices South Africa

Are you wondering about the current scrap metal prices in South Africa? This valuable resource, once considered waste, is transforming local economies. Our comprehensive guide has all the information you need to help navigate this lucrative market — from understanding pricing factors to tips on getting the best deals for your collected metals.

Read on and transform your ‘trash’ into treasure today!

Key Takeaways

  • Scrap metal prices in South Africa are influenced by factors such as demand, supply availability, metal type, global market trends, government policies, and fluctuations in currency value.
  • Copper is one of the most traded and highly demanded scrap metals in South Africa, while aluminium and steel are also popular choices.
  • The prices for different types of scrap metals like copper, aluminium, steel, iron, brass, lead, zinc, and tin vary based on their supply and demand dynamics in the market.
  • Recycling scrap metals not only contributes to environmental preservation but also offers economic benefits and job creation opportunities within the recycling industry.

Understanding Scrap Metal Prices in South Africa

Factors such as supply and demand, global market conditions, and the type of metal all play a role in determining scrap metal prices in South Africa.

Factors that influence scrap metal prices

Understanding the factors that influence scrap metal prices is crucial. Here are some key determinants:

  1. Demand for Metal
  2. Supply Availability
  3. Metal Type
  4. Global Market Trends
  5. Government Policies
  6. Fluctuations in Currency Value

How prices are calculated

Calculating the prices of scrap metal in South Africa involves a complex interplay of various factors. Notably, market forces play a critical role such as supply and demand dynamics; when the global demand for certain metals is high, prices are likely to surge.

Conversely, an oversupply can cause a downturn in price rates. Global economic conditions are also significant determinants, with recession or boom times impacting metal costs differently.

Government regulations too weigh in on pricing decisions. For instance, recent legal battles and regulations faced by the Metal Recyclers Association have had rippling effects on how prices get calculated in the sector.

Lastly but importantly, the type of material matters – each metal variant like copper or aluminium carries its unique value based on utility and scarcity levels.

Popular Types of Scrap Metal and Their Prices

Popular Types of Scrap Metal and Their Prices

Popular types of scrap metal in South Africa include copper, aluminum, steel, iron, brass, lead, zinc, and tin. These metals have different prices per kilogram based on supply and demand factors in the market.


Copper is one of the most traded scrap metals in South Africa due to its extensive use in various industries and high demand in the market. This popularity has resulted in competitive prices and constant market fluctuations, making it a lucrative choice for scrap metal traders.

Type of Metal Price per Kilogram Factors Influencing Price
Copper Variable (Updated frequently to reflect market trends) Global demand, quality of copper scrap, quantity available, geographical location
Copper Alloys Variable (Usually less than pure copper) Quality and composition of alloy, global demand, quantity available
Insulated Copper Wire Variable (Depends on the copper content) Insulation type, copper purity, global demand


Aluminium is a popular and highly demanded form of scrap metal in South Africa.

Aluminium Scrap Metal Price Factors Recycling Impact Market Demand
Aluminium is prevalent in the South African scrap metal industry and is often sold due to its high demand. Prices for aluminium scrap metal fluctuate based on several factors, including market conditions, the quality of the metal, and its grade. By recycling aluminium, South Africans contribute to environmental preservation and resource conservation. With countries like India and Stone in high demand for scrap aluminium, South Africa sees a significant export of this metal type.
Local companies, such as us, hold contracts to treat aluminium dross, swath, and scrap, indicative of the material’s value in the recycling industry. The latest scrap aluminium prices can be found online, with the AFSA providing valuable information on legislative and distribution matters related to the scrap metal industry. Illegal dumping and recycling activities can be reported by South Africans to promote proper scrap metal recycling and disposal. Due to declining domestic prices, there has been a surge in the export of scrap aluminium from South Africa.
Scrap Metal Johannesburg is an example of a company that partners with scrap metal recyclers, emphasizing the recycling industry’s collaborative nature and investment. The Price Preference System Summary, effective from 20th February 2023, provides insights into the pricing dynamics in the scrap metal industry. Recycling aluminium leads to economic benefits and job creation in the recycling industry. There’s a significant interest and need for pricing information among businesses and individuals, as indicated by search terms related to aluminium price per kilogram and scrap metal price lists in South Africa.


Steel is a high-demand scrap metal in South Africa, making up more than 90% of scrap metal volumes generated due to the country’s focus on the recycling of ferrous metals.

Steel Description Price Range
Average Steel Scrap Typically consists of clean steel or lightly rusted plate, structural steel, and car bodies devoid of fuel and fluids. Prices are often subject to regional variations and can be accessed through online resources or local scrap yards.
Clean Steel This category includes clean, new steel clippings, sheet steel, tubing, or plate material. Again, prices vary but are often slightly higher than average steel scrap due to the clean condition of the metal.
Heavy Melt Steel Often comprised of a mix of mill and construction scrap, and aged steel. Due to the quality and age, the price of these materials can fluctuate, but it is often in a similar range to average steel scrap.

Keep in mind that the South African metal recycling industry, particularly the iron and steel scrap sector, faces challenges like sustainability issues. There are economic, environmental, and socio-economic concerns to consider. Currently, the Steel and Engineering Federation is studying a proposed ban on the sale of scrap steel in South Africa.

This could impact the market, including the livelihood of informal scrap metal collectors. However, individuals can contribute to a sustainable approach to scrap metal by reporting illegal dumping and recycling of steel scrap.

  • Iron:
    • Abundant and versatile metal in South Africa
    • Commonly recycled due to its value and applications
    • Scrap metal prices for iron can vary
    • Used in construction and manufacturing industries
    • Contributes to a sustainable metal industry
  • Brass:
    • Highly sought-after non-ferrous metal in South Africa
    • Valued for its versatility and recyclability
    • Prices for scrap brass vary based on quality and quantity
    • Used in plumbing, electrical, and decorative items
    • Recycling brass conserves resources and reduces the need for new production
  • Lead:
    • Popular and valuable scrap metal in South Africa
    • Found in lead-acid batteries, roofing, and plumbing pipes
    • Price of lead fluctuates based on supply and demand
    • Recycling lead reduces environmental impact and creates jobs
    • Regulations exist for proper disposal and recycling of lead
  • Zinc:
    • Popular and profitable scrap metal in South Africa
    • Mainly found in steel-based products
    • Current price of zinc is approximately R43.51 per kilogram
    • Used in vehicles, building supplies, and galvanized coatings
    • Market price fluctuates due to supply and demand factors
  • Tin:
    • Popular non-ferrous scrap metal in South Africa
    • Found in cans, containers, and electronic components
    • Price of tin scrap metal depends on market conditions
    • Recyclable for resource conservation
    • Encouragement to report illegal dumping and participate in recycling initiatives

Regional Variations in Scrap Metal Prices

Regional Variations in Scrap Metal Prices

Scrap metal prices can vary based on the region in South Africa, with different cities and provinces having their own pricing trends.

  • Scrap metal prices by city:
    • Prices can vary from city to city in South Africa
    • Johannesburg has online resources for up-to-date prices
    • Cape Town and Durban also have their own pricing structures
    • Researching local market prices is important for fair sales
  • Scrap metal prices by province:
    • Prices can vary from province to province in South Africa
    • Regional disparities and factors like transportation costs and demand influence prices
    • Different provinces may have different prices compared to each other
    • Understanding specific pricing trends in each province helps make informed selling decisions

Finding Current Scrap Metal Prices in South Africa

To find the current scrap metal prices in South Africa, you can check online resources and websites that provide updated information on metal recycling rates.

Online resources and websites

There are several online resources and websites that can provide you with information on the current scrap metal prices in South Africa.

These platforms are a convenient way to stay updated on the market rates and ensure that you are getting a fair deal for your scrap metal. Here are some of the top online resources and websites to help you find current scrap metal prices in South Africa:

  1. Scrap Metal Prices South Africa
  2. Online Classifieds

Local scrap yards

Local scrap yards in South Africa are important sources for finding current scrap metal prices. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Price list
  • Scrap metal prices by city
  • Per kilo pricing
  • Stabilization efforts

Selling Scrap Metal: Tips and Considerations

Preparing your scrap metal for sale

  • Clean the scrap metal by removing any non-metal materials such as plastic or rubber.
  • Separate different types of metals into separate containers to ensure accurate pricing.
  • Remove any paint, coatings, or attachments from the metal to increase its value.
  • Check if the metal needs to be cut down into smaller pieces for easier handling and transportation.
  • Sort the scrap metal based on its quality and condition, as higher – quality metals often fetch better prices.
  • Weigh the prepared scrap metal using a reliable scale to determine its weight accurately.
  • Ensure that all necessary documentation, such as identification and proof of ownership, is in order before selling.

Negotiating prices

When it comes to selling scrap metal, negotiating prices is an essential skill to ensure you get the best value for your materials. Understanding market trends and demand is key in determining a fair price for your scrap metal.

Impacts of Scrap Metal Recycling

Impacts of Scrap Metal Recycling

  • Environmental benefits:
    • Recycling reduces energy consumption and conserves natural resources
    • Metal recycling can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 500 million tons
    • Downstream industrialization from recycling contributes to a cleaner environment
  • Economic benefits:
    • Scrap metal recycling stimulates downstream industrialization
    • Creates employment opportunities in scrap yards and processing facilities
    • Generates revenue and foreign exchange earnings through export
  • Job creation:
    • Scrap metal recycling industry creates sustainable employment opportunities
    • Supports industrial growth and manufacturing industry
    • Contributes to South Africa’s transition to a greener, sustainable economy
  • Resource conservation:
    • Recycling reduces the demand for new resources
    • Helps conserve natural resources like iron ore and bauxite
    • Reduces energy consumption during metal production
    • Prevents valuable materials from ending up in landfills


In conclusion, understanding the scrap metal prices in South Africa is essential for anyone looking to buy or sell these valuable materials. With factors like regional variations and the type of metal influencing prices, it’s important to stay informed.

By leveraging online resources and local scrap yards, individuals can find the best prices and make the most out of their recycling efforts.


1. How are scrap metal prices determined in South Africa?

Scrap metal prices in South Africa are determined by various factors such as global demand, market conditions, the type of metal being sold, and the quantity being offered for sale. Prices can fluctuate daily or even multiple times within a day.

2. What types of metals can I sell as scrap in South Africa?

You can sell a wide range of metals as scrap in South Africa including copper, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, lead, zinc, and iron. Each metal has its own market value based on factors like purity and availability.

3. Are there any specific regulations or requirements to sell scrap metal in South Africa?

Yes, there are regulations governing the selling of scrap metal in South Africa. Sellers need to provide valid identification when selling scrap and may be required to register with local authorities. It is important to comply with these regulations to ensure a legal and transparent transaction.

4. How can I find the current scrap metal prices in South Africa?

There are several sources where you can find current scrap metal prices in South Africa such as online platforms dedicated to monitoring market trends or by contacting local scrapyards directly for their price lists. It is advisable to compare prices from different sources before making a decision on where to sell your scrap metals for the best value.