This section of the data portal provides a summary of developments in the UK’s recovered metals market.  The data presented here comes from respected, publicly available and regularly updated sources on the internet.  By following the link(s) above the graphics, you can find out more details on the source of the data and visit the sites to access the full data.

The current highlights and trends are:

Aluminium & Steel

Aluminium can prices showed significant improvement in late August 2017. Having risen steadily throughout the year, prices reached an 11 year high of £1025 per tonne. 

Steel can prices have also made strong gains, trading at £120 per tonne at the start of September.  This is their highest price point since January 2015. 

Mixed can prices continued to trade at around £110 per tonne, their highest price since July 2015. 

PRN prices

Aluminium PRN prices declined further to £10 per tonne in August 2017, down over £3.50 per tonne on the same period last year. 

Steel PRN prices also declined to £5per tonne in August 2017, down more than £5 per tonne on prices seen 12 months ago. 

Packaging recovery & recycling

Around 26kt of aluminium packaging was reprocessed in the UK or exported in 2017Q2, up 3kt from 2016Q2. 

The amount of recovered steel packaging that is being reprocessed or exported totalled 116kt in 2017Q2. This was a decrease of 4kt from 2016Q2.

Non-ferrous scrap metal

Copper dry bright wire prices continued to make strong gains in 2017, currently standing at £4725 per tonne.

The price of aluminium pure cuttings has been broadly stable around £850-£950 per tonne during August, up around £100 per tonne compared with the same period in 2016. 

18/8 stainless solid prices began to improve during July 17, having previously fallen to their lowest point in 2017. Prices currently stand at £710 per tonne. Lead battery prices are broadly stable around £550 per tonne in August 2017. They had previously peaked at £600 per tonne in November 2016. 

Ferrous scrap metal prices

Prices for ferrous metal grades have seen strong gains recently. In August 2017 prices averaged around £140 per tonne for OA Heavy grade, £138 per tonne for 4C grade, £84 per tonne for 7B grade and £108 per tonne for grade 10.  


Virgin aluminium prices rose substantially throughout 2016 and early 2017, making particularly strong gains in August 2017 Current prices are £1611  per tonne, an increase of over £150 per tonne on the previous month. The average price over the past 12 months was £1,266 per tonne.