Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report. Brought to you by BENLEE roll off trailers and gondola trailers/open top scrap haulers, January 9th, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production fell to 1.602MT on a slowing U.S. economy.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $73.77/b, near a 1 year low. Could prices spike on a China reopen? Currently, recession fears are bringing low demand fears. U.S. oil exports remain near multi-month record highs.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count fell to 621, the lowest in two months. U.S. drillers are keeping production low, to maintain high profits.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production rose slightly to 12.1Mb/d, but in a tight range for almost 8 months. Low production is bringing record high oil company profits.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price rose to about $325/GT but has not settled yet. Good exports and low supply brought higher prices.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price rose to $36/cwt., $720/T. This was on slowing demand, but higher scrap prices.


Copper price rose to $3.92/lb. Again, a question is, could prices spike on the China reopen? There are also recession fears but record low inventories. Low inventories are bringing higher prices.


Aluminum price fell to $1.04/lb., $2,295/mt. This was on demand fears in China, but long-term optimism.

China December Caxin

China December Caxin general composite PMI. It rose to 48.3, but under 50 means contraction. Higher COVID cases had factory activity drop the most in 3 months. Higher Chinese production could mean more demand and higher commodity prices.

U.S. December ISM Manufacturing PM Index

U.S. December ISM Manufacturing PM index fell to 48.4 with under 50 being contraction. Excluding April 2020, a major COVID drop, it was the lowest since February 2016. Americans are shifting to buying services vs buying goods.

U.S. December Unemployment Rate

U.S. December Unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, matching last September and July’s 50 year low. Low usually means good but it means a tight job market, bringing higher interest rates.

U.S. December Labor Participation Rate

U.S. December labor participation rate which is people 16 years old or older who are working of looking for work. It rose to 62.3, so 37.7% are not working or even looking for work. We need to get more people into the work force, which will reduce labor inflation.

U.S. December Total Non-Farm Payrolls

U.S. December total non-farm payrolls rose to 153,743 the most in American history. Of course, it was coming after COVID, but 2021 and 2022, were the best two years of job growth in American history.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 489 points to 33,631 with a 700-point gain last Friday. U.S. wage growth slowed and in December there were economic indicators showing slowing. Slow growth is positive in that it supports slower interest rate increases.

SuperMini Long

Roll off trailers for heavy loads and a tight spot. The BENLEE Super Mini long is only 33’ long, but heavy duty. At 77,500 GVW in a tri axle, it can carry about 39,000 lbs., 19.5 tons in a 30-yard box. Importantly, is has the same major components as our 154,000 GVW 8 axle trailers we build the Michigan market. Call us at 734-722-8100 for a quote.

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