Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report, May 20th, 2024.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production was steady at 1.71MT, down 2.2% from last year and down 2.8% year to date on slow U.S. manufacturing.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price rose to $80.00/b. on the good U.S. economy and lower U.S. oil reserves.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production was steady at 13.1Mb/d. remaining just off the recent all-time high, ahead of Saudi Arabi’s 9.0Mb/d. The U.S. produces 46% more crude than the Saudis. The U.S. remains the #1 global oil producer and the U.S. is the #2 crude oil exporter in the world.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count rose to 497 on great productivity per well.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 HMS price fell to about $303/GT on slowing U.S. and global manufacturing.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-roll coil steel price fell to $37.50/cwt., $750/T on slowing U.S. manufacturing.


Copper price rose to $5.08/lb., hitting a record $5.13/lb., during the week. Copper is known as Dr. Metal or the Metal with a PhD in that it knows the health of the economy. Chinese stimulus, global moves to electrification and supply concerns all effected prices.


Aluminum price rose to $1.19/lb., $2,627/MT a two year high. This was on Chinese stimulus, continued aluminum Russian sanctions and lower Chinese aluminum production.

U.S. April Housing Starts

U.S. April Housing Starts rose 5.7% vs. March to 1.36M. Single family homes fell .4% while multifamily surged 31.4%.

U.S. April Manufacturing Production

U.S. April manufacturing production fell .5% vs. last year. Slowing is good news for keeping inflation down.

U.S. April Annual Inflation

U.S. April annual inflation fell to 3.4% as food rose 2.2% and shelter rose 5.5%. New vehicles fell .4% and used vehicles fell 6.9%. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy fell to 3.6%, the lowest in 4 years.

U.S. April Retail Sales

U.S. April retail sales increased 3.0% vs last year and unchanged vs March. This shows slowing especially since adjusted for 3.4% inflation sales are down. Online sales were down as gasoline stations and clothing were up.

U.S. April NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

U.S. April NFIB small business optimism index rose to 89.7, up from March’s 12 year low. Inflation remains the top concern, but they are optimistic about hiring.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial average rose 491 points to 40,004 a new record close. This was on good continued economic growth with record 401Ks. Also, salary increases remain faster than inflation helping people continue spending.

Two Container Trailer

Roll off trailer two container, double box roll off. These are great for long hauls as this is the best two container roll off trailer in the market. It’s light, but heavy duty with the highest uptime. Call us at BENLEE for a quote at 734-722-8100.

End Page

This report by Greg Brown from is brought to you by BENLEE roll off trailers, gondola trailers, crushed car trailers, lugger trucks, roll off trailer parts and of course roll off truck parts for Galbreath, American and more.

As always, feel free to call or email me with any questions and we hope all have a safe and profitable week.