Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, October 23rd, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production fell slightly to 1.695 MT on slowing U.S. manufacturing and the auto strike.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price rose to $88.52/b. as the U.S. cut deals to refill strategic reserves. There were also supply concerns if the Middle East war spreads.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. Weekly oil rig count rose to 502 as drillers remain disciplined. Despite higher prices the count is increasing very, very slowing.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production was steady at 13.2Mb/d, the absolute highest in American history. Oil companies are adding great value to the U.S. economy including high oil exports, yes exports from the U.S. to other countries.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1HMS price was steady at $330/GT. The higher U.S. Dollar is hurting U.S. exports of scrap, hurting demand.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price rose to $37.92/cwt., $785/T as the steel mills are increasing margins, despite slow demand.


Copper price fell to $3.55/lb., on low demand concerns and high inventories.


Aluminum price fell to $.99/lb., $2,185/mt., on concerns over the slowing economy.

U.S. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims

U.S. weekly jobless claims fell to 198,000 better than forecast. Under 300,000 is considered good, so 198K documents a tight market.

U.S. September Housing Starts

U.S. September housing starts rose 7% from August, but below forecasts. Mortgage applications were at a 28 year low and 8% interest rates are at a 23 year high.

NAHB-Wells Fargo Oct. Housing Mkt. Index

NAHB/Wells Fargo October housing market index which is sales and buyer activity. It fell to 40, the third monthly decrease. Higher mortgage rates are clearly hurting demand.

U.S. September Retail Sales

U.S. September retail sales increased 3.75% vs. last year and .7% from August, beating the .3% forecast. Misc. retail had the largest increase and restaurants fell the most.

American Household Wealth

American household wealth jumped in the pandemic from 2019-2022. Median wealth was up 37% and inflation adjusted still up a very strong 20%. Black families were up 60%, White 31% and Hispanic up 47%, mostly due to government payments, the higher stock market and higher home prices. It’s good that families have more money, but bad that government deficits are up due to 2018 tax cut and high COVID payments.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial average fell 534 points to 33,127 on unrest in the Middle East and concerns over higher for longer interest rates.

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