Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal, and Recycling Report

May 18, 2020

This is the Global Economic, Commodities, Scrap Metal and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Open Top Scrap Gondola Trailers, May 18th, 2020.


Covid-19 forecasted U.S. Deaths rose again to 147,040 through Aug 4th, the tradeoff we are seeing due to reopening. There are now 89,564 dead in 11 weeks, which is equal to 6 large passenger planes crashing DAILY, yes daily. The absolutely GREAT news is the U.S. Government said they are more confident that we will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of a vaccine by the end of the year, which is about 7 months.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly steel production rose to 1.204 M Tons, off the 10 year low as auto plants and other manufacturing reopens.

Crude Oil

Oil price rose to $29.43/b, and is up to $31.39 this morning on demand increases and massive production cuts.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. Oil rig count fell to 258, a 10 plus year low, on the major oil price drop and the U.S. agreement with OPEC for the U.S. to cut production.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production fell to 11.6M/b/d, down 1.5M/b/d in just 8 weeks, despite significant demand and price increases.

Iron Ore

Iron ore rose to $90.50/ton as China’s Blast furnaces come back on line.

Scrap Steel Price

Scrap Steel No. 1 HMS export buying price Philadelphia, was steady to $185/GT on improving demand, and increasing supply.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price is settling at about $216/GT, on the same improving demand and increased supply.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot Roll Coil steel rose to $24.69/Hundred on demand, iron ore and scrap all up.


Copper fell to $2.33/lb., but is up to $2.38 this morning as global manufacturing struggles to reopen.


Aluminum fell to 64.7 cents per pound, on limited supply and demand.

Total U.S. Industrial Production

April’s U.S. Total Industrial production fell 11.2% from April, its largest drop in 101 years, which is how far back this chart goes. Manufacturing fell 13.7%, motor vehicles and parts fell 70%.

U.S. Retail Sales

April’s U.S. Retail Sales Fell 16.4% from March and 21.6 from last April, the sharpest decrease on record. Clothing was down 78.8%, electronics & appliances 60.6%, gasoline 28.8%.

U.S. Inflation Rate

April’s U.S. Inflation was .3%, the lowest since October 2015, driven by a 32% plunge in gasoline, but food increased 3.5%, the highest increase in 8 years.

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims

U.S. Weekly jobless claims fell to 2.981M, so 36.5M jobs have been lost in 8 weeks. Horrific, but the damage is slowing. Unemployment is estimated to hit 20% or more.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment

May’s U.S. Consumer sentiment rose to 73.7, off the eight-year low. Gov’t relief checks improved buying attitudes, but 12-month expectations fell on uncertainties about jobs and income.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Average fell 646 points to 23,685, as markets remain nervous about the global restart. Second quarter U.S. growth is estimated to be a horrific negative 30% with the second half of the year to be positive.

Key to US Growth

The Key to U.S. growth in Q4 and 2021 will be the few hundred million doses of a vaccine by the end of 2020 that the government said they were confident about.

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