Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

January 4, 2021

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by our BENLEE Roll off Trailer and Gondola Trailer, January 4th, 2021.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. Weekly crude steel production fell to 1.6M GT, but remains near a multi month high, as the U.S. economy continues its slow recovery. High imports of goods are hurting U.S. manufacturing.

Crude Oil

Crude oil price fell to $48.52/b, remaining down 20% since January. Most of the record OPEC cuts remain in place due to low demand. Prices are up since March, but long-term renewables are a problem for oil.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly Oil rig count fell to 267 down a staggering 83% from the 2014 high due to relatively low prices and demand. New drilling technology is also keeping new rigs low.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 11.0 M/b/d, off the March high. Low prices and low demand are slowing oil’s recovery.

Scrap Steel Price

Scrap Steel #1 HMS Export buying price Philly rose to $340/GT a 3 plus year high. Strained supply and good demand are driving increases.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS was steady at $316.67/GT about a two year high on the same strained supply and good demand driving prices. Continued price increases are expected this month.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel rose to $51.50/cwt a 12.5 year high on good demand and higher scrap and iron ore prices.


Copper price rose to $3.52/lb., still near the multiyear high, as the global economy is growing, despite very high COVID deaths. Vaccine injections are slow, but accelerating.


Aluminum price fell to 89.9 cents/lb., but are also near the multiyear high on the same dynamics as copper.

China’s NBS Manufacturing Index

China’s December NBS Manufacturing index fell to 51.9, from November’s 38 month high. The slow global recovery is supporting exports as China’s business sentiment remains strong.

U.S. Goods Trade Deficit

November’s U.S. goods trade deficit. This is a 65-year chart. Our deficit widened to $84.82B, the worst since the U.S. began recording data in 1955. Imports of consumer goods and industrial supplies increased, as exports of food and capital goods fell. To be very clear, this is due to HORRIFIC U.S. government policy.

U.S. New Home Sales

November’s U.S. New home sales fell 11% vs. October to 841K annualized, but are still very high. It was the 4th month of decline. Sales remain high, due to low interest rates and people moving out of cities due to COVID.

U.S. Weekly Unemployment Claims

U.S. weekly unemployment claims fell to 787K and 383K self-employed, so 1.17M total. COVID related problems are causing a K Shaped recovery. High end jobs are back, so v shape recovery, while low end jobs are down.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial average rose 427 points to 30,606 a new record high on vaccine optimism and continued massive government stimulus. The recovery remains in place despite record daily COVID deaths.


Parts for roll off trucks, roll off trailers, luggers and Dumps are for sale at BENLEE and our online store. Galbreath, Galfab, American, Dragon and more. Pioneer, Roll Rite, Parker, Gresen, Holland and more.

As always, feel free to call, or email me with any questions and we hope all stay safe in these very, difficult next 6 months.


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