Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, December 18th, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production was steady at 1.7MT on slow U.S. manufacturing.

US Dollar

U.S. Dollar index, the U.S. dollar vs other global currencies. When the U.S. dollar index goes down, commodities priced in dollars usually rises. It fell to 102.5 on the Federal Reserve saying they could cut rates next year.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price rose to $71.43/b., but that’s the level of 2006, 17 years ago and half of 2008’s high. This was on good global production and small demand increases.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. oil rig count fell to 501, in a tight range for the past two months on great productivity per well and keeping production levels tight.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 13.1M/b/d just off the all-time record. U.S. exports of crude oil and refined petroleum remain near a record high.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price was steady at $380/GT on good export demand and steady U.S. demand.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-roll coil steel price rose to $54.38/cwt, $1,008/T on higher iron ore and scrap metal prices.


Copper price rose to $3.88/lb., on the lower U.S. dollar as the Federal Reserve talked about cutting interest rates. Lower interest rates helps the economy, bringing increased copper demand.


Aluminum price rose to $1.02/lb., $2,243/mt on the same lower dollar helping there to be higher Chinese imports. Demand is still being hurt by lower office building construction.

China’s November Industrial Production

China’s November Industrial Production rose 6.6% vs last year, the fastest growth in almost two years. Electrical machinery and computers grew the most. This brings higher commodity prices due to higher demand.

U.S. December S&P Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index

U.S. December S&P manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.2 the lowest in four month with under 50 being contraction. New orders, output and employment all fell as inventories rose.

U.S. November Annual Inflation

U.S. November annual inflation fell to 3.1% increase vs last year as energy and shelter fell the most.

U.S. Initial Weekly Jobless Claims

U.S. Initial weekly jobless claims fell to 202,000 with under 300,000 being a strong economy. Employment remains good while inflation is falling. Some call this a Goldilocks economy as in very good.

U.S. November Retail Sales

U.S. November retail sales, which is a major driver of the economy rose 4.1% vs last year, the strongest in 9 months. Food services, drinking places and non-store retailers rose the most. Gas station fell the most as gas prices declined.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average rose 1,057 points to 37,305 an all time high. Your 401K should be at or near a record on talk of lower interest rates. People are correct to be mad about inflation, but more people are working than ever before with the highest wages ever.

Gondola Scrap Hauler

Gondola trailers by BENLEE. 48’ long and 8’ high are back in stock. We can ship this week for end of the year tax savings. Call us for a quote at 734-722-8100.

Happy Holidays

We are close to 9 years bringing you this report 51 weeks a year. As always we will take off next week, so we wish all a great holiday season and a Happy New Year. We hope we are bringing value to our viewers.

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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.