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, June 12th, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production rose slightly to 1.754MT a 78% steel mill utilization rate vs 80.5% last year. This was on slow economic growth.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $70.17/lb., on low demand and higher interest rate concerns that would slow the economy. Also, it was on rumors that there is a U.S. Iranian deal that would increase Iran’s oil exports.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count rose slightly to 556 and remains low, along with OPEC’s low production. The low count supports higher prices, which brings higher profits.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production rose slightly to 12.4Mb/d, the highest in over 3 years, but only slightly over the past 13-month tight range. Oil companies remain cautious about increasing production.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap Steel #1 HMS price fell to about $310/GT but is still settling. This was on lower export demand and steady U.S. demand.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price fell to $45.73/cwt., $918/T on slow U.S. demand.


Copper price rose to $3.77/lb., the highest in a month, on lack of supply concerns and bets on Chinese economic stimulus.


Aluminum price was down slightly at $1.03/lb., $2,262/mt, as some think record Chinese production could fall.

Chinese May Trade Surplus

Chinese May trade surplus dropped to $65.1B as exports fell more than imports. Exports fell 7.5% on weak global demand. Sadly, the trade surplus with the U.S., while it fell in May, it grew 27.78% YTD.

U.S. May Trade Deficit

U.S. May trade deficit widened, became worse, to $74.6B a six-month high. We make fewer products in the U.S., so when we spend more, we import more. Exports of oil, pharmaceuticals and jewelry fell, as imports of phones and cars increased.

U.S. April New Orders For U.S. Manufactured Goods

U.S. April new orders for U.S. manufactured goods increased .4% from March on strong defense spending. Also, slower but good growth in transportation equipment.

U.S. June IBD-TIPP Economic Optimism Index

U.S. June IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose to 41.7, but low. Despite a record number of people working and near a 50 year low in the unemployment percent, 51% of people believe the U.S. is in a recession. Note that the debt ceiling debate hurt this index.

U.S. May Logistics Manager’s Index

U.S. May logistics manager’s index fell to 47.3 with under 50 being contraction, the first under 50 in 7 years. It was down mainly due to the continued softening freight market. Also, inventories shrank at the manufacturing level, but grew at retail.

U.S. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims

U.S. weekly jobless claims rose to 261,000 the highest in 1.5 years, but under 300,000 is considered good. The jump is usually bad news, but the Federal Reserve likes this. It is a sign that the labor market strength is weakening, which bring less wage inflation.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 114 points to 33,877, the highest in 10 months. This was on the belief that the Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates this week.

Crushed Car Trailers

Crushed car trailers by BENLEE. 48’ and 53’ with gates or tarp systems. Flat bed, 8” drop, double drop or 16” drop. Call BENLEE for a quote at 734-722-8100.

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