Value of recovered circuit boards continue to slide

Value of recovered circuit boards continue to slide

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sharp declines in the prices of precious metals and an uptick in inflation drove the average value of scrap circuit boards down in March.

At $7.65 per pound, the average value of the materials in recovered electronic scrap in March was 2.2 percent below the average value in February, and down 4.2 percent since the start of the year. Any gains in the average value of scrap circuit boards over the course of the past year have been erased, with the March average down 3.7 percent versus the March 2012 average. Much of this can be attributed to declines in the value of scrap metals. For instance, the average price of copper has declined 12.6 percent since the start of 2013, and 9.4 percent since March of last year. Gold and silver prices have also been steadily declining for the past six months.

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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