Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

April 13, 2020

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Open Top Gondola trailers, April 13th, 2020. This is a remote edition.


COVID-19 Update as of 5:15 AM. Estimated U.S. deaths will be 61,545 thru August 4th, per IHME the source that the White House has been using. In the U.S. more than 557,590 have been infected and over 22,109 dead.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly steel production fell to 1.534 M Tons a multiyear low, which will fall further in the coming weeks as industries such as Automotive remain closed and as active oil rigs hit a multi-year low.

Crude Oil

Oil prices fell to $23.19/b, as OPEC Plus (which is OPEC and other main oil producers like Mexico and Russia) announced a 9.7M/b/d production cut. In an unprecedented move, the U.S. for the first time in history, joined with OPEC and Russia’s as the U.S. agreed to oil cut U.S. oil production by 250,000 barrels a day. This will further cut U.S. oil and U.S. steel production jobs and will help oil company and bank profits.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production fell to 12.4M/b/d, as low prices mean low profits which closes less profitable wells. It is not clear how the U.S. commitment to cut 250,000 barrels will be implemented.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price fell to about $187/GT, on a combination of falling demand, but tempered by low supply.

Scrap Steel Price

Scrap Steel No. 1 HMS export buying price Philadelphia was steady at $135/GT the multi-year low as low production seems to be stabilizing.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coil steel fell to $24.97/CT, on slowing demand.


Copper rose to $2.27/lb. and $2.33 this morning, as China’s economy ramps up and the U.S. is discussing reopening.


Aluminum fell to 64.75 cents per pound, a new multi-year low on slowing global economy.


April’s Cardboard scrap OCC SE rose $35/Ton to $85/ton, the largest increase in years, on tight supply and triple digit increases in demand for household paper products, take out food packaging and e-commerce boxes.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment

April’s U.S. Consumer sentiment fell to 71 from 89.1 in March, the lowest reading since December 2011 and the largest monthly decline ever recorded. Declines were seen for current conditions and future expectations. This is serious in that the U.S. is a consumer, not manufacturing driven economy.

U.S. Vehicle Sales

March’s U.S. annualized vehicle sales were estimated to have fallen to 11.4M vehicles, from 17 million in February. This will fall much further in April.

U.S. Annualized Inflation

March’s annualized U.S. inflation fell to 1.5% from 2.3% in February, driven by a 10.2% slump in gasoline prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile Food and Energy prices actually rose to 2.1%, but had the first month over month decline since January 2010.

Initial Weekly Unemployment Claims

U.S. Unemployment claims were 6.61 Million. See the thin line on the right. This brings the last three weeks total to near 17 million job losses, after years of averaging a mere about 230,000 per week. The 4-week moving average jumped to 4.3M, an all-time record. The $600 weekly extra federal payment may have contributed to this increase.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones rose 2,667 points to 23,719 as virus deaths hit new highs and the U.S. starts talking of reopening. The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Chairman said he expects the recovery from the Pandemic will be a long hard road.

As always, feel free to call, or email me with any questions. Importantly, we hope you, your family, friends and employees stay safe.