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November 17, 2008

Metal Prices Take Major Dive

Metal prices have taken a major dive over the last few months.
That's taking a toll on scrap yards in Eastern Kentucky, and those who relied on the extra cash to get by.
Work days are going by slowly at Jasper Iron & Metal Co. in London. Manger Glenn Caudill says he's never seen metal prices drop like this.
"Not as drastic as this. It usually drops in the winter every year, but I've not seen it drop this quick," said Caudill.
Just a couple of months ago, Caudill says he would see about 100 people haul metal across his scale everyday. Now he says that number has dropped to just 20.
Thomas Lawson says loading up his pickup with scrap metal would make him more than $50, now he's lucky to get $15. He relies on that cash to pay for Christmas.
"It's supposed to be if a man is willing to work, he should be able to make a living. The way it is right now, if a man is willing to work two jobs, he can't make a living," said Lawson.
Foreign interest in American scrap metal is what drove prices up for the last few years. Caudill says sheet metal went from $200 dollars a ton, to $30 in just three months.
"Foreign countries all quit buying it and all the mills are filled up, they don't want anything. There's no demand for it," added Caudill.
That's already forced him to layoff employees.
Caudill says many of the people that would drop off metal can no longer afford to haul it to the scrap yard.