Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, January 15th, 2024.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production rose to 1.71MT on slow U.S. manufacturing.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $72.68/b. despite problems in the Middle East. 2023 was the all-time record for U.S. oil production. The price of oil is now at the level it was in 2007, 26 years ago.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count fell slightly to 499 on great productivity per well and the slow trend of increased production.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 13.2Mb/d., just off the all-time record. Oil prices remain low as the U.S. maintains the status of the #1 global oil producer. The U.S. is also the #2 oil exporter and & #1 exporter of natural gas, LNG.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price was steady at $380/GT on the slowing global economy.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-roll coil steel price fell to $54.25/cwt., $1,085/T on the continued slow U.S. economy.


Copper price fell to $3.73/lb., on soft demand, but Chinese forecasted government support.


Aluminum price fell to $1.01/lb., $2,219/mt on soft global demand.

U.S. December Annual Consumer Inflation

U.S. December annual consumer inflation rose to 3.4% vs last year. Energy and vehicles fell, while transportation services rose. Note that gasoline is less today at $3.07/gal. adjusted for inflation, than $.19 in the 1930s.

U.S. December Producer Price Inflation

U.S. December producer price inflation rose 1% vs last year, below forecast. Lower energy prices are helping all parts of the economy.

U.S. Real Clear-TIPP Economic Consumer Optimism Index

U.S. Real Clear/TIPP Economic Consumer Optimism index jumped to 44.7, the highest in 8 months. People are more positive about economic prospects and Federal Government policies. People hate higher prices, but salary raises have been higher than inflation in the past year and there are a record number of people working.

U.S. December NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

U.S. December NFIB Small Business optimism index rose to 91.9, the highest in 5 months. Inflation and labor quality are the top issues. Companies are still concerned about 2024.

U.S. November Trade Gap

The U.S. November trade gap narrowed, got better to $63.2B. Exports of crude oil and autos were down but strong, while imports of cell phones and chemicals fell.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 127 points to 37,593, near the recent record high. This was on mixed inflation data and the good initial weekly unemployment report.


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