Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

February 17, 2020

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Open Top Scrap Gondola Trailers, February 17th, 2020.


To begin, the Coronavirus per the U.S. Center For disease control, is likely to spread in the U.S. If that happens, N95 rated Masks are recommended. Note, China’s Manufacturing is intertwined with the Global Economy so China’s Factory Shutdowns has now begun to disrupt Global Production.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly steel production fell to 1.899 MT on a continued slow growth economy.

Crude Oil

Oil rose to $52.05 a barrel, on news of possible deep production cuts by OPEC and that Q1 demand could be down vs. last year for the first time in 10 years, due to the Coronavirus.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production rose to 13 million barrels per day, matching the all-time record. Great Economic News.

Iron Ore

Iron ore rose to $88.50/Ton, as limited Chinese steel mills restarted after the long Lunar New Year Holiday.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price fell to $232.67/GT on strong supply, but there is some upward pressure on prices, as slow global growth continues.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel fell to $28.75/Hundred, on slow demand and a slowing economy.


Copper rose to $2.60 per pound on hopes the coronavirus was being contained, but it is not. Copper could fall, before it goes higher.


Aluminum rose to 78.2 cents per pound, on the same hopes the coronavirus is being contained.


Cardboard Scrap OCC in the SE rose to $40/Ton, despite low demand; remaining near decade lows.

Euro Area Industrial Production

December’s Euro area (an economy about the size of the U.S.) had their industrial production fall 2.1%, the steepest contraction since February 2016. The Coronavirus could make this worse, due to less exports to China.

U.S. Inflation

January’s U.S. Inflation rose to 2.5%, the highest since October 2018. Gasoline jumped 12.8%, as food increased only 1.8%. Excluding food and energy, called Core Inflation, prices rose 2.3%.

January Federal Budget Deficit

January’s Federal Budget Deficit was an outrageous $32.6 Billion vs a plus $8.7B last year. Spending was up a shocking 22% while receipts were only up 10%. Longer term deficits will bring higher taxes and even lower growth, but it sure is easy to have a good economy when we are not paying our bills. Frankly it is pretty simple math.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment

February’s U.S. Consumer Sentiment rose to 100.9% the highest since March 2018, with improving expectations, while the gauge for current expectations declined. Current personal finances showed large gains.

U.S. Unemployment Claims

U.S. Unemployment claims rose to 205,000, but remain near 50-year lows as they have been falling for 11 years. Great economic news.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Average rose 296 points to 29,398. The White House is rumored to be proposing tax breaks for individuals to invest in stocks, which would support more even more increases. We have now had 11 years of increases!


ISRI’s Annual Convention is coming up in April. We will be there along with all other major suppliers to the industry. Register to learn about the latest products and services to make your recycling operations safer and support profitable growth.

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