Iron Price

Iron price graph
Table of Contents

Iron, where does it come from and what is it?

Iron has been a product that can be found in many materials for years. It is used in construction but also in many other industries you cannot go without iron. Think about it for a second and realize what iron elements you have around you right now. An absurd amount, right?

The rise of iron

Iron is a rough transitional metal that can be gained from iron quartz and delved from the iron mines all over the world. Iron is used as a name when people sometimes just mean steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon.

When was iron discovered?

Around 4000 B.C. iron was used already. We know this through digging sites that we have made. The iron that was found came from meteorites that hit earth.

We call this iron, meteorite iron. There is also a rumor that the iron dagger that Tutankhamun carried, probably was made from meteor iron. In Sumer and Ancien Egypt, iron was used first, for as far as we know now.

Later on the use of iron spread to Anatolia, Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Iron used to be a very expensive metal. You could say that in those periods, one iron bar could be traded for about 40 to 95 bars of silver.

The moment they found out how you could gain iron from quartz and how to use it in smithing, it became a more affordable material.

The processing of iron started in Greece around 1100 B.C. and was spread through Europe very fast.

Applications of iron

Iron is used mostly as steel nowadays, this is because iron is cheap and steel is very strong as well.

It is used for ships, cars, bikes and even construction material in construction sites.

There are a lot of applications to be named for iron. We know cast iron which uses molten iron to be cast into a fireproof shape. Good iron, which we call pulled iron. And smithing iron, which used to be created by trade in a smithing workshop by a smith. We can name a lot more applications, but these are the most important and well-known ones.

We would like to explain a little bit more about these three forms of applications.

Cast iron

Cast iron, an alloy of carbon, iron, mangane and silicium, poured into a mold. The looks of cast iron is very easily recognizable because it is very rough.

You can think about a cast iron pan or the grill on your furnace that is sometimes made of cast iron.

Cast iron can handle a lot of pressure but is not strong in pulling power. If you need iron that holds a lot of pulling power, you might want to pick smithing iron.

Good iron

Though not very known, this is one of the bigger applications of iron. It is delved from quartz and processed in such a way that it never holds a fluid form.

The form it takes is more like dough. Because it was done in this way, so called snails were left in the metal that were taken out through smithing later on.

Smithing iron

Smithing iron is iron that is crafted through smithing. This happens by the hands of a blacksmith. It is heated in a coal fire and afterwards hammed to bend in the right shapes.

Because it is done in this way, iron that has a huge pulling force is created. A blacksmith does not only create the right shape instantly this way, but also already has eliminated all the quartz and snails.

The professional of blacksmith is still carried out, though not nearly as much as it used to.  Blacksmiths that take on this profession, usually do this out of fun and not as a job.

It is also much used for decorative purposes, like a decorative fence, gates, chimney caps or horseshoes.

Remarkable properties

Just like cobalt and nickle, iron is a ferromagnetic metal. Iron has different connections but also different hardnesses.

This makes that iron is the strongest but also the lightetst element, without any loss of energy.

The prise of iron

In contrary to the early days, the price of iron has drastically plummited. Scrap iron is usually picked up by people that collect it and then take it away. When you take it away you nowadays get about 26 cents per kilo scrap iron.

So you need easily a couple hundred kilos, before you actually make some money. And to think that it was more expensive than silver at the time of discovery!

Recycling iron

Iron can be recyled. Even when it is hidden in other materials, it is easily recyclable. Big magnets take out the pieces of iron and melt them so they can be reused.

You can think about iron that comes from scrapyards of cars and from buildings that are demolished. Often the steel beams from the inside of buildings can be reused immediately.

This is because steels has a very long lifespan, so it does not necessarily need to be melted before creating it again for use.

Iron from cars for example will be melted first to be processed afterwards. It does not mean that this is suitable to be reused in cars, but it will be reused somewhere and that is what recycling is about.

The steel that is used for construction is for the most part scraps. This is the reason that recycling of iron is such a huge percentage.

Almost no other materials can be recycled as much as iron can.

The iron price and developments in 2021

In 2021 the iron price rose in the winter months by 40%. After this we saw a slow return and decline, but there was still an incline of 12% at the lowest level of 2021. Depending on the company, the prices can differ up to 3 euro per kilogram for the different types of iron, copper and metal. In the winter months, iron is always more expensive, because it is imported less from countries like Russia or America. A lot of people nowadays therefore save it all year, to sell it for the highest price in the winter months. For scrap iron the price this year was aroudn 10 to 13 cents.

We will notice this in 2022

Russia is one of the biggest suppliers of metal, iron and copper. This is why we see the prices rise exponentially in 2022. Even outside of the winter months, the price will remain high because of the war that Russia is now involved in. They can therefore also transport it way less easily. We now already see companies pay 31 cents per kilogram for scrap iron, an increase of over 100% from last year. For now the war will continue on, so we do not expect the price to fall this year. But even after the war things will have to be reinstated so this upward trend might last for a couple more years.


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