Ferrous Metal Free Fall… what’s happening

The ferrous metal market has been under a great deal of pressure this year. At the start of 2019, there was great optimism in the market, but as the year progressed things started to look less promising.

Discussions with the US and China were looking positive and demand for steel was high, at the beginning of the year, with prices showing a significant rise. The dramatic drop in ferrous metal prices is largely due to a combination of factors, which have impacted on the market and caused this slump.

As the year progressed, the value of steel gradually dropped and the latter part of the year saw even more drops in ferrous metal prices. 


Firstly, the continuing trade tensions between the US and China have restricted global growth. Secondly, China has limited the amount of steel imported into their country. This is in response to the Chinese government’s ban on solid waste. 

There is also a decrease in demand for finished products for export markets, this has hit the ferrous metal sector hard. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has also been a contributing factor. 

A significant downturn in ferrous metal prices has not just been isolated to certain parts of the country, as it has affected prices throughout the whole country. In the later part of 2019, prices have fallen even further in all regions of the UK.

It is possibly too early to predict what we can expect in the New Year for ferrous metals. However, when steel prices are low, usually other precious metals increase, so that we can expect a rising precious metals market as we approach 2020.


At Drapers, we are continuing to support our customers with our full recycling services during these challenging times. We recycle responsibly and the health and safety of both our customers and staff is of key importance to us. Due to effective planning, we have implemented measures to provide safeguards for business continuity.