Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

February 22, 2021

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by our BENLEE Roll off Trailer and Gondola Trailer, February 22nd, 2021.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. Weekly crude steel production rose to 1.743MT, the highest in about 11 months as slow demand growth continues.

Crude Oil

WTI Crude oil price fell to $59.24/b, near a 13-month high on a slow increase in demand and on OPEC talks about increasing production.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly Oil rig count fell to 305, down 81% from 2014’s high on the massive Texas freeze and slow demand that is depressing activity.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production fell to 10.8M/b/d on the massive freeze shutting down parts of Texas.

Scrap Steel Price

Scrap Steel #1 HMS export buying price Philly, was steady at $310/GT with upward price pressure, due to the bad weather.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS was steady at $360/GT. Bad weather and demand increases are pressuring increased prices for March.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel rose to $60.61/cwt near the record high. Good demand and short supply are driving record highs.


Copper price rose to $4.067/lb., the highest in 9+ years and it $4.10 this morning, on low inventories and expectations of more U.S. stimulus. Higher copper price is a major economic indicator of good things ahead.


Aluminum price rose to 96.5 cents per lb., a 2+ year high on the same stimulus expectations.

Euro Area IHS Manufacturing PMI Index

Euro area IHS manufacturing PMI index. Remember the euro area economy is about the size of the U.S. The index rose to 57.7 the strongest in about three years. Surging demand is leading to supply disruptions.

Canadian December Retail Sales

Canadian December retail sales fell 3.4% vs. November as COVID’s resurgence caused shutdowns.

U.S. February IHS Manufacturing PMI Index

U.S. February IHS manufacturing PMI index fell to 58.8, but that’s still solid growth. Importantly, supply disruptions are slowing growth. Also, lead times increased and output inflation was the most since July 2008.

U.S. January Housing Starts

U.S. January housing starts fell to 1.58M annualized, but from a 14-year high. This is still great news for 2021 economic growth.

U.S. January Retail Sales

U.S. January Retail sales rose to 5.3% vs. December, the strongest gain since June, driven by stimulus check spending, with the biggest gains in electronics. The downside is, most of these purchases are Chinese imports.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial average rose to 31,494 near the record. U.S. GDP could be 5% or more in 2021. Positives are, stimulus hopes and vaccine shots picking up speed. But supply-side disruptions are causing problems in Manufacturing.


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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.


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