Recycling, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Economic Report

This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, September 25th, 2023. This is Brian Sides reporting for Greg Brown.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. weekly raw steel production rose slightly to 1.73MT a 76.2% utilization rate vs. 76.4% LY on slow U.S. Manufacturing.

U.S. Dollar Index

U.S. Dollar Index, the U.S. dollar vs other global currencies. When the U.S. dollar rises, it pressures down commodities priced in dollars. It rose o 105.4, the 10th weekly increase because of a good possibility of higher U.S. interest rates.

Crude Oil

WTI crude oil price fell to $90.35/b. remaining near a 10 month high. Russia is restricting gasoline and diesel exports to lower their inflation.

Oil Rig Count

U.S. Weekly oil rig count fell to 507. With $85+/b, rigs are expected to rise slowly.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. weekly oil production was steady at 12.9Mb/d, near a record high. This is expected to rise slowly due to the $85+/b price. Too fast bring lower prices which would anger OPEC.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1HMS price was steady at $330/GT on slow demand and the strong dollar, which hurst U.S. export demand.

Hot Roll Coil

Hot-rolled coil steel price rose slightly to $33.72/cwt., $674/T, near the multi-month low on slow demand and oversupply.


Copper price fell to $3.69/lb., on the strong dollar and Chinese slow growth concerns. Also, on U.S. Federal Reserve comments about possible higher interest rates.


Aluminum price rose to $1.02/lb., $2,248/mt on slower Chinese aluminum production and increased demand from EV production.

U.S. Federal Reserve

U.S. Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates. Announced no change, but possible higher rates coming. Also, said major progress made on lowering inflation, but it is still too high. Related the economy is stronger than expected and workers are regaining buying power.

Nucor Corporation

Nucor corporation, the #1 steel producer and in top 3 metal recyclers in the U.S., preannounced lower Q3 earnings. This was due to lower steel prices, good volumes, and margin compression in recycling.

U.S. September S&P Manufacturing PM Index

U.S. September S&P manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index increased to 48.8, but under 50 is contraction, so manufacturing is contracting less. Contractions in output and new orders softened.

U.S. August Housing Starts

U.S. August housing starts fell a big 11.3% from July to 1.283 annualized. High interest rates have starts down to the levels of the 1960s. While not shown, August existing home sales fell to near a 13 year low.

Dow Jones

Wall Street’s S&P 500 index fell a big 2.8% for the week to 4,320, in the Federal Reserve hawkish comments and the auto strike expanding.

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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.