Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, February 19th, 2024.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production rose slightly to 1.71MT, as we could be close to the bottom of the industrial cycle.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price rose to $79.19/b., on problems in the Middle East, but Chinese demand is declining. China is moving quickly to electric vehicles to reduce oil imports.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 13.3Mb/d the all time record high in all of American history. It has gone up 1Mb/d in the past year, making the U.S the largest energy supplier to the world. This is great for high paying jobs, corporate profits, and Wall Street stocks.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count fell to 497 on continued great productivity per well.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price fell to $374/GT on slowing U.S. manufacturing.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-roll coil steel price fell to $43/cwt., $860/T on weak U.S, demand, and good supply.


Copper price rose to $3.82/lb., despite concerns about slow Chinese manufacturing. The rapid increase in Chinese electric vehicle production is supporting prices.


Aluminum price rose slightly to $1.00/lb., $2,217/mt on soft global demand.

U.S. January Manufacturing Production

U.S. January manufacturing production, decreased .9% vs last year, well below the 3.58% increase of the past 60 plus years. Higher interest rates are slowing the economy to bring down inflation.

U.S. January Retail Sales

U.S. January retail sales increased .6% vs last year, which could be viewed as it fell if you include 3.1% inflation. Building materials and gasoline were down, as furniture and restaurants were up slightly.

U.S. January Housing Starts

U.S. January housing starts fell 14.8% vs December to 1.33M annualized. This was the largest fall in almost 4 years and below the level of the 1960s, 60 years ago on higher interest rates and higher home prices.

U of M February Consumer Sentiment Index

U of M February consumer sentiment index rose to 79.6 a 2.5 year high, on slowing inflation and expectations of year ahead economic improvement.

Construction Spending Manufacturing Ending December 2023

Construction spending on manufacturing ending December 2023 skyrocketed in the past 2.5 years. It has literally tripled from the previous 10 years, which is very positive for jobs and the economy. This is for Electric vehicles, semiconductors, equipment for infrastructure, military supplies and more.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44 points to 38,618 but near the record high. Concerns over inflation remain, yet per my recent travels to S. Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, the economy in Asia is good.



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This report by Greg Brown is brought to you by BENLEE roll off trailers, gondola trailers, crushed car trailers, lugger trucks, roll off trailer parts and roll off truck parts.

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