Year 1 AB (After Bundles) and the scrap keeps flowing

Oct 01, 2010 | 05:38 AM | Michael Marley

And so it came to pass that the last of the Big Three (though they were no longer as big and were now more than three) proclaimed that factory bundles would no longer be sold openly.

And was there great wailing and moaning throughout the land? Nope.

There were a few dealers and scrap buyers who wondered aloud, "How will we know what to sell or buy scrap for?" Then they went back to their usual monthly go-rounds of haggling and bargaining—the same way that the buying and selling of scrap metal has been done for decades. Sure, the auto bundles did provide a starting point for some, but it was never carved in stone that grades like No. 1 dealer bundles and No. 1 busheling would rise or fall by the same dollar amount.

There has always been some measure of give and take in ferrous scrap transactions, sometimes not on the most polite terms, with irate buyers or sellers sometimes trading a few choice words. Maybe this wasn't as tactful as Miss Manners would recommend, but deals got done and the same buyers and sellers would be back on the phone again the following month exchanging pleasantries.....

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