Surging Copper Prices Highlight Growing Importance of Metal Recycling Companies

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Surging Copper Prices Highlight Growing Importance of Metal Recycling Companies

June 18
05:06 2024
Surging Copper Prices Highlight Growing Importance of Metal Recycling Companies
Metal Stocks In Focus
According to a May 27, 2024 Credendo Research Report, Copper Sector: Record-Breaking Copper Prices Amid Speculations of Supply Shortages, demand for copper is being driven by a, “boom in investments in green technologies

Copper prices have reached unprecedented levels due to a combination of financial speculation and anticipated supply shortages. Investment from banks, miners, and funds has intensified, driven by optimistic projections for copper’s future, especially in emerging sectors like electric vehicles, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence. This influx of speculative investment has exacerbated the price rally, particularly as supply concerns mount with potential smelter output cuts. The rally peaked in May due to a short squeeze in New York, underscoring global urgency to acquire the metal amid warnings of a significant supply-demand imbalance. 

China’s copper scrap imports have significantly increased due to a concentrate shortage, triggered by First Quantum’s loss of rights to operate the Cobre mine in Panama. This mine previously contributed 1% to the global copper supply. In response, Chinese smelters have ramped up scrap imports to mitigate the shortfall. Notably, imports from the U.S. surged by 37% in the first four months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, reaching 153,059 tonnes. However, the spike in U.S. scrap prices—reaching a record $11,460 per tonne on the CME—has prompted Chinese buyers to defer further U.S. shipments and consider pricing against the more favorable rates on the London Metal Exchange. This strategic shift is part of broader efforts by Chinese smelters to navigate concentrate shortages and sustain production amidst volatile market conditions.

Metal recycling companies stand to benefit significantly from the soaring copper prices and tightening supply. As the value of recycled copper increases alongside the demand from sectors like electric vehicles and renewable energy, recycling firms can see higher revenues. Additionally, with copper ore supplies constrained and potential smelter output cuts, industries may increasingly turn to recycled copper as a more sustainable and economically viable alternative. This shift not only boosts the profitability of recycling companies but also positions them as crucial partners in global supply chains, enhancing their strategic importance and potential for growth in a market focused on sustainability.

This brings focus on companies like Greenwave Technology Solutions, Inc (GWAV). Greenwave Technology Solutions, Inc (Nasdaq: GWAV) through its wholly owned subsidiary Empire Services, Inc. (“Empire”), is an operator of 13 metal recycling facilities in Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio. The Company’s recycling facilities collect, classify, and process raw scrap metal (ferrous and nonferrous).

On June 5th, GWAV announced that its downstream processing system generated record revenues in May 2024, driven by both increased volume and higher prices. Back in July 2023, Greenwave commenced operation of a downstream processing system at its Kelford, North Carolina facility, enabling the Company to recover millimeter-minus pieces of metal from its automotive shred residue or “fluff” as it is known in the industry. The Company has invested more than $500,000 in an Orbcon PTV balling mill, focused on extracting copper from the shred residue.

As per the press release, Greenwave is on track to generate record revenues driven by the volume of steel and copper processed in 2024. Time to start your research now on GWAV by visiting their website at

Other notable metal stocks to keep an eye out for include Rio Tinto (NTSE: RIO), Nucor (NYSE: NUE), Wheaton Precious Metals (NYSE: WPM).


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