March 16, 2020
This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Load Lugger, Lugger Trucks, March 16th, 2020. This is a special COVID-19 remote edition.
COVID-19 Update. Very, very sadly, life as we know it has changed. The good news is, all we know is, COVID-19 is getting better in China. But in almost all other parts of the world it is getting worse. An important example. Apple has reopened all retail stores in China, which is great, but they have closed all stores in every other country. On February 26th, just a mere 2.5 weeks ago the U.S. Federal Government said about the virus, we “have 15 people infected, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero”. On March 9th there were 566 infected and 22 deaths. As of this morning, over 3,485 infected and over 65 deaths. Major parts of Global and U.S. Economy are shutting down. A crazy but very important point, simple soap destroys the virus, so wash hands, stay out of crowded places and if sick, stay home.
U.S. weekly steel production fell slightly to 1.903 MT with slow U.S. and slowing global growth.
Oil fell to $30.32/barrel, as OPEC drove prices down to punish Russia, and demand crashes, which will help U.S. consumers, but hurt the massive U.S. Oil Industry. The U.S. Government will buy oil to fill the U.S. Emergency reserves, to support prices.
U.S. weekly oil production fell to 13.0 M/b/d, near the all-time record. Lower prices are hurting U.S. drillers, so this will come down.
Iron ore rose to $91.50/Ton, as China’s manufacturing ramps up.
Scrap steel #1 HMS price was steady at $232.67/GT, on slowing demand as COVID-19 spreads globally. We will probably see a major drop in April.
Hot roll coil steel fell to $28.25, but could step lower in coming weeks.
Copper fell to $2.40/lb. a multi-year low as China demand increases, but other parts of the world fall.
Aluminum fell to 75.60 cents per pound, near multi year lows on the same issues as copper.
February’s JP Morgan global composite index which is manufacturing and services, crashed to 46.5, meaning contraction. China is about to increase, but the rest of the world is falling.
January & February’s China’s Industrial production fell 13.5%, the steepest fall since 1990. It is believed this will now improve in April.
Yesterday the U.S. Federal Reserve, dropped interest rates 1% in an emergency action. In the U.S., Q1 and Q2, the first half of 2020 will probably be negative growth, so two quarters of negative growth equals a recession.
Wall Street’s Dow Jones fell 2,679 points to 23,186 and is due to fall hard again this morning.
At this point BENLEE remains open, including a 24/7 telephone help line. Also, BENLEE has an online parts store to order fast and easy. Go to www.benlee.com and click on Parts, on the upper right to order online and save travel. We have great prices with most items ship the same day. Note we sell replacement parts for Galbreath, Dragon and more.
As always, feel free to call, or email me with any questions and but importantly we hope you, your family, friends and employees have a Safe week.