Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report. Brought to you by BENLEE roll-trailers, gondola trailers and roll-off truck parts, May 15th, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production fell to 1.172MT a 76.2% utilization rate, vs. 81.2% last year. This was on slow demand and steel mills were working to keep supplies tight.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $70.04/b., on recession fears as OPEC is forecasting higher demand and higher prices.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count fell to 586, the lowest in about a year. This was on oil company concerns about lower prices which is keeping the rig count down.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 12.3Mb/d, in a tight range for about a year. This was on concerns over lower demand which is keeping production low.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap Steel #1 HMS price settled at $340/GT on slowing global demand and good supply.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price fell to $54.08/cwt, $1,082/T on slowing demand and tight supply.


Copper price fell to $3.73/lb., the lowest in 4 months as China’s economy is not growing as fast as expected.


Aluminum price fell to $1.02/lb., $2,343/mt, the lowest in 7 months on record Chinese production which could lower prices further.

China’s April Trade Surplus

China’s April trade surplus surged vs last year to $90.2B. Exports grew 8.5% while imports fell 7.9% on lower demand and lower commodity prices. Sadly, the surplus with the U.S. widened to $29.7B on good U.S. consumer demand.

U.S. April NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

U.S. April NFIB Small business optimism index fell to eighty-nine, the lowest in over 10 years. It is interesting that the all time peak was months after 2018’s tax cut. Finding qualified labor and inflation are the top concerns.

U.S. May U of M Consumer Sentiment Index

U.S. May U of M consumer sentiment index, fell to 57.7 on concerns over the trajectory of the economy. Problematically, the 5 year inflation expectation rose to 3.2%.

U.S. April Producer Price Inflation

U.S. April producer price inflation fell to 2.3% the lowest in about 2.5 years. Commodity prices continue to fall and supply chains are improving.

U.S. April Total Non-Farm Payrolls

U.S. April total non-farm payrolls, considered total employment. It rose to 155.7 million the most in American history. Also, as reported last week, the April unemployment percentage matched the fifty low. Inflation is bad but getting better and the economy is slowing, but things are fairly good.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 373 points to 33,301. This was on inflation concerns and worries about raising the U.S. Government debt ceiling.

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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.