April 16, 2018
This is the Scrap Metal Commodities Recycling and Economic Report, by BENLEE and Raleigh and Goldsboro Recycling, April 16, 2018. This is a special remote edition from the floor of the IRSI Show in Las Vegas.
Last week, many commodity prices rose and economic reports were mixed.
U.S steel production rose, remaining nicely ahead the last two years, and at a multiyear high on good global economics.
Oil rose about $5.00 to $67.39, a multiyear high due to a good global economy and major Middle East unrest, making many markets nervous.
U.S. oil production hit another new high to 10.53 million barrels per day. It’s true the U.S now exports crude oil, but we are still a net importer of crude, meaning we import more than we export. Overall though record production is great for U.S. jobs.
Iron ore was no change at $65, near a multi month low as production and supply remain slightly off balance.
Scrap steel Heavy Melt prices rose $15/GT on this chart, as prices remain more than double about two years ago and as exports remain strong.
Hot dipped galvanized steel remained at the multiyear high of $1,150/Ton on good demand and tariffs reducing cheaper imports into the U.S.
Copper rose a penny to $3.09 on little news and as global markets shift to China buying more refined copper, vs items like insulated wire and electric motors. Copper is up 3 cents this morning.
The 5 year chart shows copper remains slightly off the multiyear high of a few months ago.
Copper inventories fell slightly on little news, remaining near a multiyear high with solid prices and production.
Aluminum prices hit a 6 year high as U.S. sanctions hit a number of Russian companies including Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminum producer.
Aluminum LME inventories fell, remaining at very low levels on a soft balance of supply and demand.
Recycled cardboard hit a new multi-year low as China continues to not take the major volume of recycled cardboard they took for years.
The U.S. government’s budget deficit increased to $209 billion in March, from $176 billion last March, making this the biggest gap on record for a March. It is easy to have a great economy, when we are spending at record levels, which is much more than we are taking in at the Federal level.
The Congressional Budget office, a bipartisan organization as part of the government, supports what the President and his team have said. Tax cuts will help economic growth, we will grow faster and bring in more tax revenue, BUT government spending is rising even faster. Looking at the last line of this chart shows we will have ever higher deficit budgets in the coming years, unless something changes.
Inflation rose to 2.4%, year on year, the highest rate in about a year as housing and used cars led the increase. We see material prices are at multiyear highs, which is going to bring more inflation.
March exports from China declined 2.7 percent from a year earlier, as exports to the U.S., the European Union and Japan declined, while rising to other countries in Asia. For the first quarter though, they did rise 14.1 percent, a huge number.
The stock market’s Dow Jones had another turbulent week but ended up 429 points at 24,361 despite all the global unrest, trade friction and huge questions on issues relating to the U.S. government’s investigations.
If you are here in Las Vegas, come see us at our booth to see our Roll off Truck Replacement Trailer the Super Mini as well say hi to Mike Taylor from Premier Truck Sales & Rental, who is showing one of our Lugger hoists on a Mack truck that can be rented or bought from Premier.
As always, feel free to call or email me with any questions and we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week.