Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

March 23, 2020

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Load Lugger, Lugger Trucks, March 23rd, 2020. This is a remote edition.


COVID-19 Update. Great news: China’s internal new cases have recently had multiple days of zero new internal cases, but the rest of the world is getting much worse. As for the U.S., February 26, we had 15 cases. March 9th, 566 infected, 22 deaths, March 16th 3,485, 65 deaths, Today at 6:20 AM, 35,224 infected, 471 deaths. Note: today is about 8 days into the government’s 15-day containment program, as the U.S. Economy is mostly shutting down.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly steel production fell to 1.878 M GT, which will fall hard in the coming weeks as Automotive and many other industries are shutting down.

Crude Oil

Oil prices crashed to $20.30/b, the lowest in 18 years as select U.S. Senators wrote to the Saudis to get prices up. What a change from the past, when we wanted them to lower prices. Few U.S. or Foreign companies are profitable at $20/b. Oil is up to about $22.20 this morning.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production rose to 13.1M/b/d, matching the record high as shale oil is still increasing while standard oil rigs decline.

Iron Ore

Iron ore fell to $90/Ton as China ramps up steel production, but the rest of the world is falling hard.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price was steady at $232.67/GT, and will probably fall hard next week as there is a dramatic slowdown in demand.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel fell to $28.06/ct, and should continue to fall on lower scrap steel prices and falling demand.


Copper fell hard to $2.15/lb. as the global economy other than China, continues to fall hard. It fell more to $2.08 this morning.


Aluminum fell to 71.1 cents per pound, on same issue as China, major global slowing.

U.S. Home Builders Sentiment

March’s U.S. Home Builder’s Index fell to 72 and has been falling for a few months, despite low interest rates. This survey was done before the recent stock market decline, so this a serious negative economic issue.

U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims

U.S. initial unemployment claims skyrocketed to 281,000 a 2.5 year high. Will me much larger next week as the global and U.S. economy shuts down. 4 million or more jobs could be lost in the next couple of months.

U.S. Sales Previously Owned Homes

February’s U.S. Sales of Previously owned homes surged 6.5% to 5.77 M units, the highest in over 13 years. Great news, but this will sadly fall hard this month.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones fell a shocking 4,012 points 19,174, the worst fall since the crash of 2008. The U.S. Economy is in at least temporary free fall.

BENLEE Parts Store

BENLEE remains open with a reduce staff and reduced hours, but our online parts store is open 24/7 to order fast or call us at 734-722-8100. Order online at, to save travel and calls. Most items ship same day. We have parts for BENLEE, Galbreath, Dragon, Converto, Huge Haul, Palfinger, American, Roll-Rite, Pioneer, Gresen and more. Tarps, Rollers, Straps, Cables, Valves, cylinders and more.

As always, feel free to call, or email me with any questions, but importantly we hope you, your family, friends and employees have a very Safe week.