Understanding the scrap metal prices in Belfast is crucial to give an accurate estimate as to the value of your metal haul before driving to your local dealership. Scrap metal prices are broadly similar from city to city in the UK, however, each different pence per KG can make a big difference to the value of your scrap metal when you sell it.
We find that there are two key variables that influence scrap metal prices:
- Weight of Scrap Metal
Therefore, we have compiled the latest scrap metal prices in Belfast for you to make an informed decision on which scrap metal to source and sell. Generally, the most common scrap metal to recycle and sell is Aluminium, Copper, Brass, Steel, Iron, Lead, Batteries, Catalytic Converters, which we have included the prices for below.
The scrap metal prices in Belfast are priced from a variety of different sources, submissions from scrap metal sellers like yourselves, and from local scrap metal dealers we have contact with. Therefore, the prices of scrap metal in Belfast may differ in each dealership, but our valuations are averaged out to provide the most accurate general prices for you. As ever, it is also worth taking a look at the LME prices, which will give you an indication of market movements in the general metal prices you will get in Belfast.
Current Scrap Metal Prices in Belfast
Prices last updated 20th January, 2021
Belfast has lost much of its manufacturing capabilities since the 1970’s, with over 100,000 jobs lost, however, scrap metal prices in Belfast have remained consistently significantly higher (circa 5%) than the rest of the UK. This is despite a quieter period of construction activity in Belfast, due to Brexit. In fact, Brexit may be benefitting the local steel trade as tariffs of up to 25% have meant increased demand for steel and aluminium products, thus driving up the scrap metal prices.
Much of Belfast’s scrap metal processing facilities are based onsite, and there is a wide range of demand for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. We’d say from experience that Belfast is certainly the leading area for scrap metal recycling in Northern Ireland, and so you can be sure that you’ll be getting the best prices. Belfast also tends to be a key export hub for scrap metals to both domestic and international markets and so you can be certain that the demand is there.
Locations in Belfast where we see scrap metal demand are: Newtownabbey, near Duncrue Street, near East Twin Road (essentially anywhere near George Best Belfast City Airport).
Scrap Metal Dealerships in Belfast
Some of the largest dealerships in Belfast, where you’ll get the best scrap metal prices are:
- Clearway Group
- Clearway is Ireland’s largest scrap metal processor, which offers certainty that they can purchase large quantities of scrap metal at decent prices
- Purchases ferrous and non-ferrous materials
- Clearway Group has locations across Portadown, Belfast, L’Derry, Westmeath, Dublin, Sligo, Cork, Letterkenny, but Belfast remains their export division
- McKenzies is over 50 years old, and works with residential, Governmental, commercial companies
- Significant focus on ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) considerations, with a smelting furnace keeping aluminium within Northern Ireland
- They are opening a new foundry in Larne which will help them drive more demand for scrap metal, at a competitive price – less travel means reduced costs
- Mcauley Metals
- McAuley metals is also over 50 years old, working with both public and trade customers
- This Belfast based company is now Ireland’s largest electric waste processor
- Offers site clearance, roll-on and off skips, and cranes to clear larger quantities of scrap and get you the best price
- P Kane (Metals) Ltd
- P Kane Metals has been trading for over 67 years, and focuses on both standard residential/commercial scrap metal trading and also factory clearance
- If you have scrap machinery and/or plant equipment you need clearing in Belfast, then this is the place to get the best scrap prices
- A relatively new company established in 2000, T-Met has developed a strong reputation for selling new steel and second-hand car parts at competitive prices
- Not just offering the best scrap metal prices in Belfast, T-Met also has depots fully licenced in Armagh, Coleraine and Campsie
- As ever also check our local scrap metal dealers on Yell and Gumtree, as they may have niche demand for your specific metal haul
What is Scrap Metal?
Scrap metal describes metal products that are no longer needed, which are capable of being recycled. These metal products vary in quality and material, which impacts the supply and demand of the metal products, in turn impacting the price.
It's important to know the worth of scrap metal, as many do not, and regularly throw their computers, wiring, piping, cars, cans, without realising their potential lost gains. The most common forms of scrap metal are Aluminium, Copper, Lead, Iron, Catalytic Converters, Batteries. To dig deeper into the types of scrap metal:
a. Extruded Aluminium
- - Aluminium extrusion is exactly what the name tells you – it is a form of aluminium which has been extruded/pushed through a mold into a shape
- It is important to note that the scrap metal price for extruded aluminium is not fixed, as it will depend on the grade of aluminium that it is (5000, 6061, 6063 series)
- Extruded aluminium forms the market for c.50% of total extruded metal products and so is considerably used.
b. Cast Aluminium
- Again, these are generally found in molds, but differ in that the aluminium is poured in as molten aluminium
- This might be seen in outdoor furniture, car parts which are clean, cast grills
c. Aluminium Turnings
- These are a lower quality form of Aluminium, which are shavings of aluminium which are produced in the manufacturing process
- Although they do tend to be of a lower quality, there are still variations and so it is important to get a scrap metal price from your local dealer
a. Bare Bright Copper
- This is the most expensive form of copper
- ‘Bare bright’ refers to the metal being uncoated or unalloyed
- It is always referring to wire or cable, which must be a minimum of a 1/16 inch in diameter
- This is the highest quality form of copper and so it is copper #1
b. Copper #1
- This is of the same quality as bare bright copper, and it is also unalloyed and uncoated (also including trace oxidation)
- However, it also includes copper piping, clippings, bus bars as well as wire
c. Copper #2
- This is copper which is unalloyed, but can be coated (paint or any other coating other than insulation)
- 94-96% purity of copper
d. Copper Tanks
- Copper tankers are essentially boilers, made of copper
- These are typically the older forms of boilers, and have a pretty sizeable weight of 30kg+, thus making them pretty quick earners. A highly valuable piece to source and sell
e. Braziery Copper
- This is one of the lowest quality forms of Copper, and can be soldered or painted
- 95% purity of copper, without any Iron
f. Copper Insulated Wire #1
- This is Copper wire that is unalloyed, uncoated, and would be Copper #1 without insulation
- Must be a thickness gauge of +16
g. Copper Insulated Wire #2
- This is Copper wire that is unalloyed, and would be Copper #2 without insulation
- Usually, a thickness gauge of -16
- This wire is typically seen in standard electronic wiring in residential homes
a. Clean Brass
- Clean brass does not include any other metals or plastics, and so is as the name describes: pure brass
- However, do not fret: the brass can include certain small %’s of metals as long as they are trace
- This will greatly determine the value of your brass, and will be determined by your local dealership
b. Mixed Brass
- Mixed brass is brass containing other metals, glass or plastics
a. Stainless Steel 316
- 316 stainless steel is a highly strong and durable stainless steel material, which is austenitic Chromium and Nickel stainless steel
- This is similar to the 18/8 stainless steel, but differs in that there is 16% chromium, 10% Nickel and 2% Molybdenum: thus 2% of Molybdenum replaces 2% of the Chromium
- You’ll normally find this type of metal in food processing machinery, boats, and scientific uses as it is non-reactive to water/moisture
b. Stainless Steel 18/8
- 18-8 is a grade of stainless steel. The 18 refers to Chromium and the 8 refers to Nickel, so that there is 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel
Some miscellaneous scrap metals to consider:
- Lead has a decent scrap metal value, as it is utilised for a wide variety of applications
- Lead is still commonly used in construction, plumbing, ammunition
- Be extra careful! Lead poisoning is a real thing, and so handle lead with care
b. PB Battery
- Lead-acid batteries are hugely common, as they are typically used in vehicles to power the electronics and the starter
c. Electric Motors
- Electric motors will be found widely, but most commonly will be seen in washing machines and alternators
- The prices do vary substantially though based on the metals used to form the electric motor. Whilst they are usually copper, they can also be aluminium
d. White Goods
- White goods can be from any typically residential electronics: fridges, dishwashers, freezers etc.
- Broken white goods are frequently being thrown out by homeowners and so these are a great item to collect to boost the price of your scrap metal haul
It does not matter the source of these metals, as long as they have been legally acquired, meaning they can be either residentially or commercially sourced. In order to ensure that metals have been legally acquired, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 was introduced. For sellers, this means that they can no longer sell scrap metal for cash as transactions could not be tracked effectively. Therefore, all sales of scrap metal must be made by bank transfer or by cheque.