Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

January 20, 2020

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Open Top Scrap Gondola Trailers, January 20th, 2020.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly steel production rose to 1.923 Million tons with steady, but slow demand as positive signs remain in the market.

Crude Oil

Oil fell to $58.85 a barrel, despite the somewhat positive trade news. Global oil supplies are good, despite huge past producers like Venezuela and Iran, mostly currently off the market.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production rose to 13 million barrels per day, a new all-time record, with now about 4 years of growth. This is outstanding economic news for much of the U.S. Economy.

Iron Ore

Iron ore rose to $96/Ton, on U.S. China trade news, good China production data and on positive China iron ore import data.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS Price rose to $259.33/GT as steel mills were forced to pay the higher prices to meet demand. Supply and demand are coming into balance so there is price uncertainty for February.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel fell to $29.94/Hundred, on slow demand as the recent higher prices hit their limit due to the slow demand.


Copper rose to $2.85 per pound a multi month high on the signing of the U.S. China trade deal which was mostly a truce, as few tariffs were rolled back and most tariffs are staying in place.


Aluminum rose to .81 cents per pound, on the same news about the U.S. China Trade deal.

Unemployment and US Fiscal Balance

There are many ok to good things going on in the U.S. Economy, but this is a disturbing chart. See the grey line on the right that is going up. That is the U.S. Government deficit rising. This is the first time in modern history, other than during the Vietnam War that unemployment is going down, and we had more people working, but Federal Deficits are rising. The 2019 calendar year deficit hit $1Trillion. Interest payments on this deficit are hurting the ability to invest in important things like infrastructure.

China GDP

China’s GDP, their economic growth, slowed to 6.1% in 2019, their slowest in 29 years, but note that U.S. forecasted growth for 2019 is 2.4-2.6%, so China’s growth is more than double ours. Related, China’s Industrial growth was 5.7%, while U.S. industrial remains in contraction.


January’s U.S. IBD/TIPP Economic Index, which rates Consumers, Workers and investors, rose to 57.4. Government economic policies and the personal financial outlook rose, while consumers feel negative about the next six months.

U.S. Housing Starts

U.S. December Housing starts rose to 1.608 million units annualized, the highest since June 2007, about 12.5 years ago and the largest gain in 3.5 years. Great, great news for jobs and the economy.

U.S. Inflation

December’s U.S. Inflation rose to 2.3%, the highest in 13 months, boosted by a sharp rebound in energy costs, while food eased. Core inflation which Excludes food and energy, rose the same 2.3%, unchanged from November.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Average rose to 29,348 having hit a new record. This is a great 11 year run up, staring in March 2009. This major increase is supporting the wealth effect. As people feel wealthy, they spend more, which will help the economy.

We were very sad to learn of the death of ISRI’s Mark Reiter. He was one the best. Mark we will truly miss you. As always, feel free to call, leave a message on LinkedIn or email me with any questions and we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week.