Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, October 9th, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production fell to 1.722MT on a slowing U.S. economy.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $82.96/b, a huge 9% drop for the week as U.S. gasoline demand fell to its lowest since 1998.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. Weekly oil rig count fell to 497 a 20 month low. This was on increased productivity per well and a plan to keep production tight, which brings tight supply, higher prices, and high profits.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production was steady at 12.9Mb/d as we are on target for record U.S. production in 2023. That is great for the U.S. economy as U.S. oil exports remain near a new record. The U.S. is gaining as a net energy exporter as Oil and gas together will have new record exports in 2023.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1HMS price was steady at $330/GT as some downward pressure for October remains.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price rose to $34.31/cwt, $686/T as steel mills are trying to increase margin.


Copper price fell to $3.63/lb., a 4 month low, but historically still very high. Higher interest rates are slowing the economy so slowing demand. Also, there remains concerns on China’s slowing construction, so less demand.


Aluminum price fell to $1.02/lb., $2,243/mt on the slowing global economy. Strong solar cell manufacturing is supporting aluminum prices.

U.S. September Non-Farm Payroll

U.S. September non-farm payroll, the new U.S. jobs report added 336,000, which was well above the 170K forecast, as hospitality and leisure grew the most.

U.S. Unemployment Rate

The U.S. unemployment rate was steady at 3.8%, which was very low by historical standards. The tight labor market remains a concern that causes inflation.

U.S. September Average Hourly Earnings Increase

U.S. September average hourly earnings increase fell to 4.2%, which is slowing, but still inflationary. The good news for workers was 4.2% is nicely over the 3.6% inflation, so they are gaining purchasing power.

U.S. August Trade Gap

U.S. August trade gap, exports vs. imports, improved to -$58.3B including -$1.3B with China, a 5 month low. U.S. exports of crude oil, travel services and refined oil, mostly gasoline and diesel fuel, grew. Imports of cell phones and household goods fell as the U.S. economy slowed.

U.S. Total Employment

U.S. Total employment rose to 156.9M the highest in American history. We now have 4.5M more people working than pre-COVID’s record high. Truly great news. Inflation remains too high, but the U.S. is doing better than most of the world.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average fell 100 points despite the big jump on Friday. This was as the economy is slowing, but the unexpected big job growth. Also, inflation is dropping, but the public perceives it as much higher.


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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.