Scrap circuit board prices flat in 2012

Scrap circuit board prices flat in 2012

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The average selling price for scrap printed circuit boards rose just 2.2 percent in 2012 after struggling to regain lost value in the second half of the year.

The average printed circuit board price declined just a penny between November and December, ending the year with three straight months of price declines, for a total decline of 1.8 percent in Q4. In 2011, average scrap circuit board prices rose 9.5 percent and were flat in the fourth quarter of the year.

Overall, growth in the value of scrap circuit boards has leveled off, with the trend showing few signs of a return to the dramatic gains in price, such as those that occurred between November 2008 and July 2011 during the height of the recession.

This data represents the full metallic values of boards over time and are not the recycling values, as those values do not include the costs involved in actually extracting metal from boards, including freight, sampling charges, assay assessments, smelting, refining, process loss, return on investment, and penalties for various elements, including beryllium, bismuth and nickel.

These values are for the estimated intrinsic metal content of recovered PC boards. Some consumers label such material as mid-value. Lower-value scrap includes monitor and television boards. Higher-value scrap includes network and video cards, and motherboards.

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