Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report. It is brought to you by BENLEE roll off trailers, gondola trailers and roll off truck parts, January 23rd, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production rose slightly to 1.602MT. The economy is slowing due to higher interest rates.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price rose to $81.61/b. This was on improved demand, while OPEC and the U.S. are keeping production low.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count fell to 613, the lowest since November. The rig count is forecasted to rise, but at a slow rate. Companies continue targeting tight supply to maintain higher prices and profits.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 12.2Mb/d, in a tight range for about 9 months. Record global oil demand in 2023 will bring more oil production. This is great for the U.S. economy along with more natural gas drilling and exports.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price was steady at $335/GT on a good balance of supply and demand.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price rose to $38.02/cwt., $760/T on slow demand, but on higher costs being passed through.


Copper price rose to $4.28/lb., the highest in 7 months on strong Chinese demand and on supply concerns.


Aluminum price rose to $1.18/lb., $2,602/mt., also a 7-month high on good Chinese demand, supply concerns and low inventories.

Chinese Q4 Economic Growth

Chinese Q4 Economic Growth expanded at 2.9% with the full year being 3.0%, slow by Chinese standards. Chinese internal demand is now increasing while global demand is decreasing. 2023’s faster Chinese growth should bring higher commodity prices.

U.S. December Industrial Production

U.S. December industrial production fell .7% from November, the largest drop since September 2021. Durable goods manufacturing fell as utilities rose. The slowing production hurts the economy but helps lower inflation.

U.S. December Existing Home Sales

U.S. December existing home sales fell to 4.02M annualized, the level of the 1970s. This has been a faster fall than the 2008 crash. Higher interest rates are hurting sales. The Federal Reserve likes this, as it hurts demand for appliances, furniture etc., so that slows inflation.

U.S. Weekly Unemployment Claims

U.S. weekly unemployment claims fell to 190,000. This is great, in that under 300,000 is considered a good economy. It is bad to some though because it means employers are holding onto workers. That brings a tight labor market, which brings higher wages and inflation. We need more workers in the economy.

U.S. December Producer Prices

U.S. December producer price fell to 6.2% increase. It is still high, but the lowest increase since March 2021. Energy fell 7.9%, food fell 1.2%, but services rose .1%.

U.S. December Retail Sales

U.S. December retail sales fell 1.1% from November, as the economy slowed, and prices fell. Gasoline fell 4.6%, while building materials and garden equipment rose .3%. Weaker than expected holiday shopping helped slow inflation.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 927 points to 33,376, despite being up 300+ points on Friday. This was on the slowing economy and forecasts of reduced corporate earnings. CEOs are mixed between forecasting major slowing, or a true recession.


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As always, feel free to call or email me with any questions and we hope all have a safe and profitable week.