Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

March 22, 2021

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

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. Weekly crude steel production rose to 1.761MT, remaining below last year as steel shortages remain, due to low production.

Crude Oil

WTI Crude oil price fell to $61.44/b, down 6% for the week, on a new wave of COVID infections in Europe and the U.S., which caused new lockdowns in Europe that are hurting demand.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. Oil rig count rose to 318, the highest in months, but still down 80.2% from 2014’s high, as higher prices are bringing on more rigs.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 10.9M/b/d, but demand is increasing. Relatively low prices are keeping production low.

Scrap Steel Price

Scrap Steel #1 HMS export buying price Philly, was steady at $345/GT with downward price pressure on great supply and good demand.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS was steady at $411.67/GT as strong supply is bringing lower prices for April.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel rose to $64.98/cwt, near a record high. Low production is bringing higher prices as steel mills increase profit margins.


Copper price fell to $4.10/lb., but remains high on strong Chinese demand which is 50% of global demand.


Aluminum price rose to $98.7 cents near a 3 year high on strong demand and supply disruptions.

China January-February Industrial Production

China’s January/February Industrial Production soared 35.1% vs. last year’s COVID lockdowns. Textiles, nonmetal manufacturing and transportation equipment rose, as exports to the U.S. are surging as U.S. stimulus money has U.S. consumers buying Chinese made goods.

U.S. March Industrial Production

U.S. March industrial production slumped 2.2%, the steepest contraction since April, caused mostly by the severe weather in Central and South U.S.

U.S. February Housing Starts

U.S. February housing starts fell to 1.421M annualized, the lowest in 6 months. Higher interest rates, higher lumber and copper prices are hurting. The number of unsold homes remains very low, so starts should rise.

U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims

U.S. Initial Unemployment claims rose to 770K the highest in a month. 300K is needed for growth. Claims should fall in the coming weeks with stimulus spending. Also, it will improve as states ease COVID restrictions.

Philadelphia March Manufacturing Index

Philadelphia March manufacturing index, which is a major U.S. area, jumped to 51.8 the strongest factory growth in 50 years. Overall activity, new orders and shipment all rose.

U.S. Federal Reserve Major Announcements

The U.S. Federal Reserve made some major announcements. Interest rates will stay low though 2022. U.S. economic growth in 2021 is forecasted at 6.5% and they are concerned about the lack of recovery of low-end jobs.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 150 points on the Federal Reserve’s announcement to end Banks’s emergency ability to reduce cash reserves. Many are positive about forecasted 6% plus growth, but concerned about rising interest rates.

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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