Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, January 8th, 2024.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production fell to 1.68MT on continued slow U.S. manufacturing.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price rose to $73.89/b on escalating tensions in the Middle East, but gasoline prices remain below last year.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. oil rig count rose slightly to 501 on great productivity per well.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production fell slightly to 13.2Mb/d just off the all-time record high. This was as high U.S. and other non-OPEC countries production is keeping prices stable. The U.S. is still the #1 oil producer in the world. More than Saudia Arabia or Russia.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price was steady at $380/GT. There is slight upward price pressure, but downward talk as well.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-roll coil steel price rose slightly to $55.00/cwt., $1,100/T on higher iron ore price and as mills work to increase margins.


Copper price fell to $3.80/lb., but remains high, on the strength of the U.S. dollar and lower China manufacturing data.


Aluminum price fell to $1.03/lb., $2,274/mt on reports of strong investments in Guinean bauxite mining.

U.S. December ISM Manufacturing PM Index

U.S. December ISM manufacturing PM Index rose to 47.4, which was better, but still under 50, so in contraction. Production and jobs rose, but new orders and inventories fell. It remains interesting that after the huge 2018 tax cut manufacturing fell.

U.S. December New Jobs Report

U.S. December new jobs report added 216,000 jobs, which was above forecast. Government and leisure added the most while transportation and warehousing fell.

U.S. December Average Hourly Earnings

U.S. December average hourly earnings rose 4.1% over last year, which is good and bad. Bad in that it is viewed as inflationary. Good in that it is well above the 3.1% inflation. Note that there were enormous wage gains during COVID while there was very low inflation.

U.S. December All Employment Payrolls (“Nonfarm”)

U.S. December All Employment payrolls, which is nonfarm. Rose to 157.2M the highest in American history. There are 5 million more people working today than pre-COVID. More workers means more supplies and services, so lower inflation.

U.S. December Unemployment Rate

U.S. December unemployment rate was steady at 3.7%. Inflation is dropping as employment remains strong.

Dow Jones

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Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average fell 244 points to 37,466. There was a massive run up in Q4 followed by profit taking in January. Most people’s 401Ks are at or near record levels.

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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.