Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, August 21st, 2023.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production rose slightly to 1.737MT, a 76.9% utilization rate, vs. 78% last year. This was on slow U.S. manufacturing, but good steel exports, mostly to Mexico. The U.S. proposed tariffs this week on tin can sheet would help U.S. steel manufacturers, but would raise U.S. consumer prices.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $81.55/b., on the weaking Chinese economy and fears of U.S. higher interest rates.

Oil Rig Count

The U.S. weekly oil rig count fell to 520, the lowest in 17 months. This was on higher productivity per well and the strategy of controlled production to get higher prices.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly crude oil production rose to 12.7Mb/d the highest in about 3.5 years as lower Saudi and Russian production raises prices. This allows U.S. companies to increase production and profits. Great for U.S.!

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap Steel #1 HMS price was steady at $330/GT on a good balance of supply and demand for U.S. scrap.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price fell to $37.76/cwt., $755/T. This was on low U.S. demand, but helped by good U.S. steel exports to Mexico.


Copper price was steady at $3.72/lb., on slow Chinese growth hurting demand and price, but low copper production and low inventories are supporting prices.


Aluminum price fell to $.97/lb., $2,143/mt. on increased supply and weak Chinese demand.

Chinese June Industrial Production

China’s July industrial production increased 3.7% from last year, which was below the 4.4% forecast. Oil, natural gas, and ferrous metals production increased.

U.S July Industrial Production

U.S. July industrial production rose 1% from June, but was down .23% from last July. Motor vehicles and parts jumped 5.2%. Also, electric utility output jumped due to our very high temperatures.

U.S. July Housing Starts

U.S. July housing starts rose by 3.9% from June to 1.452M annualized, but that was the rate of the 1960’s, 60 years ago. Single family jumped the most despite mortgage rates at a 21 year high.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 780 points to 34,501 on concerns over higher for longer interest rates. Interesting to note that as of June 30th, some major investors have positioned themselves for a future market downturn.

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