Copper is a highly valuable metal with a wide range of applications, from electrical wiring to plumbing and industrial machinery. The price of copper can vary significantly depending on several factors, including market demand, economic conditions, and the quality of the copper being sold. In the UK, copper prices are closely monitored by both sellers and buyers to ensure fair transactions. This article will explore the current market prices for copper in the UK, the different types of copper and their respective prices, and how to sell copper effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Copper prices in the UK fluctuate based on market demand, economic conditions, and the quality of the copper.
  • Different types of copper, such as bare bright copper, copper tanks, and braziery copper, have varying prices per kilogram.
  • Scrap copper prices are generally higher compared to other metals like aluminium, with prices ranging from £4 per kg for certain grades.
  • Finding reputable buyers and properly preparing copper for sale are crucial steps in maximizing returns.
  • Future trends in copper pricing are influenced by economic indicators, technological advancements, and global market dynamics.

Current Market Prices for Copper in the UK

Factors Influencing Copper Prices

The price of copper in the UK is influenced by a variety of factors including global demand, production levels, and economic conditions. Economic stability and industrial demand play significant roles in determining the price. Additionally, geopolitical events and trade policies can also impact copper prices.

Comparison with Historical Prices

When comparing current prices to historical data, it’s evident that copper prices have seen fluctuations. For instance, in January 2024, the average monthly price for copper stood at 8,338.88 nominal U.S. dollars per metric ton. This is a reflection of both market demand and supply chain dynamics over the years.

Regional Variations in Copper Prices

Copper prices can vary significantly across different regions in the UK. Cities like London, Manchester, and Birmingham may have different pricing due to local demand and supply conditions. Below is a table showing the range of prices for various types of copper in different regions:

Region Bare Bright Copper (£/kg) Copper 1 (£/kg) Copper 2 (£/kg)
London 4.02 – 4.45 3.65 – 4.03 3.47 – 3.84
Manchester 4.00 – 4.40 3.60 – 4.00 3.45 – 3.80
Birmingham 4.05 – 4.50 3.70 – 4.05 3.50 – 3.85

Understanding these variations can help sellers and buyers make more informed decisions when trading copper in the UK.

Types of Copper and Their Prices

Bare Bright Copper

Bare bright copper is the most valuable type of scrap copper. It is highly sought after due to its purity and excellent conductivity. The price for bare bright copper in the UK ranges from £4.02 to £4.45 per kilo.

Copper Tanks

Copper tanks are commonly found in household heating systems. The price for copper tanks ranges from £3.41 to £3.77 per kilo. These prices can vary depending on the condition and cleanliness of the tanks.

Braziery Copper

Braziery copper is a lower grade of copper that often contains solder and other impurities. The price for braziery copper ranges from £2.95 to £3.26 per kilo. Despite its lower value, it is still a significant source of revenue for scrap dealers.

Understanding the different types of copper and their respective prices can help sellers maximize their profits when selling scrap copper.

Scrap Copper Prices

Copper #1 and #2 Scrap Metal

Scrap copper prices in the UK can vary significantly based on the type and quality of the copper. Copper #1 typically fetches a higher price compared to Copper #2. For instance, No1 Copper Wire is priced around £6,630 per tonne, while No 2 Copper Wire is slightly lower at £6,290 per tonne. The difference in price is due to the purity and condition of the copper.

Insulated Wire Prices

Insulated wire prices also differ based on the type of insulation and the copper content. Insulated Wire 1 ranges from £1.63 to £1.80 per kg, whereas Insulated Wire 2 is priced between £1.23 and £1.36 per kg. The lower prices for insulated wires are due to the additional processing required to remove the insulation.

Impact of Scrap Quality on Prices

The quality of scrap copper has a direct impact on its price. Higher quality scrap, such as heavy copper with 98% purity, can command prices around £6,530 per tonne. On the other hand, lower quality scrap like Braziery Copper, which contains other metals, is priced at approximately £5,520 per tonne.

It’s essential to sort and clean your scrap copper to get the best possible price. Removing any non-copper materials can significantly increase the value of your scrap.

How to Sell Copper in the UK

Finding Reputable Buyers

When looking to sell copper, it’s crucial to find reputable buyers. Many scrap metal merchants in cities like Birmingham, London, and Manchester offer competitive prices. Always check reviews and ask for recommendations to ensure you’re dealing with a trustworthy buyer.

Preparing Copper for Sale

Properly preparing your copper can significantly impact the price you receive. Clean and sort the copper into different grades, such as Bare Bright Copper and Braziery Copper. This not only makes it easier for the buyer to assess but also ensures you get the best possible price.

Legal Considerations

Selling copper in the UK involves adhering to certain legal requirements. Ensure you have valid identification and be aware of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which mandates that all transactions are recorded and payments are made via traceable methods.

Proper preparation and understanding of legal requirements can make the process of selling copper smoother and more profitable.

Future Trends in Copper Pricing

Economic Indicators

Copper prices are significantly influenced by global economic indicators. For instance, GDP growth rates, industrial production, and construction activities are key factors. Record-breaking copper prices amid speculations of economic recovery have been observed, indicating a strong correlation between economic health and copper demand.

Technological Advancements

Technological advancements in mining and recycling processes can lead to more efficient copper production, potentially lowering costs. Innovations in electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies also drive copper demand, as these industries require substantial amounts of copper for manufacturing.

Global Market Dynamics

The global copper market is affected by geopolitical events, trade policies, and supply chain disruptions. Regional variations in copper prices can be attributed to these factors. Additionally, the emergence of new markets and changes in existing ones can lead to fluctuations in copper prices.

The future of copper pricing is closely tied to the interplay of economic indicators, technological advancements, and global market dynamics. Keeping an eye on these factors can provide valuable insights for stakeholders in the copper industry.

Comparing Copper Prices with Other Metals

Aluminium Prices

Aluminium is another widely used metal, but its price is significantly lower than that of copper. For instance, aluminium extruded is priced between £0.84 and £0.92 per kg, while aluminium cast ranges from £0.50 to £0.55 per kg. This stark difference highlights the higher value of copper in the market.

Brass Prices

Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, also commands a lower price compared to pure copper. Clean brass is priced between £2.39 and £2.64 per kg, whereas mixed brass ranges from £2.00 to £2.21 per kg. The price disparity between brass and copper is due to the additional metals in brass, which reduce its overall value.

Zinc Prices

Zinc is another metal that is often compared with copper. However, its market price is considerably lower. Zinc prices typically range from £1.02 to £1.12 per kg. This makes zinc a more affordable option for various industrial applications, although it lacks the electrical conductivity and versatility of copper.

When comparing metals, it’s essential to consider their unique properties and market demand. Copper’s high value is largely due to its excellent electrical conductivity and widespread use in various industries.

When comparing copper prices with other metals, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest market trends. For a comprehensive guide and expert insights on scrap metal collection, visit our website. Discover how you can benefit from our free scrap metal collection services in Glasgow and surrounding areas.


In conclusion, the price of a ton of copper in the UK varies depending on the type and quality of the copper. As of the latest updates, prices range from approximately £5,520 to £7,000 per ton for different grades such as Dry Bright Wire, Clean New Tube, and Braziery Copper. These prices are influenced by various factors including market demand, copper quality, and regional differences. Cities like London, Manchester, and Birmingham are key hubs for copper trading, reflecting the dynamic nature of the market. Staying informed about current prices and trends is crucial for anyone involved in the copper trade, whether for buying, selling, or recycling purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current price range for Bare Bright Copper in the UK?

As of the latest update, the price range for Bare Bright Copper in the UK is £4.02 – £4.45 per kg.

How much is Copper #1 and #2 Scrap Metal worth per kg?

Copper #1 Scrap Metal ranges from £3.65 to £4.03 per kg, while Copper #2 Scrap Metal ranges from £3.47 to £3.84 per kg.

What factors influence the price of copper in the UK?

Copper prices in the UK are influenced by factors such as global supply and demand, economic indicators, technological advancements, and regional market dynamics.

How do insulated wire prices compare to other types of copper?

Insulated Wire 1 ranges from £1.63 to £1.80 per kg, and Insulated Wire 2 ranges from £1.23 to £1.36 per kg, which is generally lower compared to other types of copper like Bare Bright Copper and Copper Tanks.

Where can I sell scrap copper in the UK?

Scrap copper can be sold to various scrap metal dealers and recycling centers across the UK, including major cities like London, Birmingham, and Manchester. It’s important to find reputable buyers to ensure fair pricing.

What are the legal considerations when selling copper in the UK?

When selling copper in the UK, it’s important to adhere to legal requirements such as providing proof of identity and ensuring that the copper has been obtained through legal means. Some transactions may also require proper documentation and adherence to environmental regulations.