August 17, 2015

This is the Commodities and Recycling report, brought to you by BENLEE the industry leader in roll off trailers and open top scrap trailers, as well as Raleigh and Goldsboro Metal Recycling, the leaders in North Carolina for Scrap Metal, Cardboard, Electronics and Junk Cars.

Today is Monday August 17th, 2015. My name is Greg Brown, President and CEO of the companies.

Recycling and Commodities remain severely depressed. Last week, while there was some stabilization, there were also new lows and yet another scrap yard closing.

Weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. steel production dipped slightly last week and stayed near its multi month high, but it is still well below last year's levels.

US oil rig count

While the oil rig count rose slightly, since gas rigs fell, the total rig count was actually unchanged. As has been said, oil and gas rigs use huge amounts of steel. A slight positive is that scrap metal exports from the U.S. to Turkey are up this year, which is partly due to the oil rig count in the Middle East remains high, which is where Turkey ships major amounts of steel.

AMM weekly no 1 heavy melt price composite

Despite U.S. construction doing OK and U.S. auto sales doing very well, the story remains the same. China. China's slow growth means the demand for scrap metal is low, so prices for ferrous hit new multiyear lows last week.


Copper after literally years of declines, hit yet another new multiyear low last week of $2.30/lb. While steel, has been less than half its high for years, copper now remains less than half its high of $4.66 from April 2011.

1 Year aluminium Spot

Aluminum is the same story as copper. While this chart is only one year, it too is at 6+ year lows.

We were sad to see yet another Metal Recycling company close last week in North Carolina. That is now about 11 closings in N.C. that we know of in the past two years. There have been about 7 that have opened, so the net loss is about 4.

The big economic news last week was China in order to help their slowing economy, devalued their currency. This will make it even easier for them to export aluminum and make it more expensive for them to buy scrap metal from the U.S., so it was bad news for the U.S.

Also in the news, oil prices are forecast to fall further which as we have said in this report is good and bad. It is good news for consumers who will have more money to spend, but bad news for U.S. steel, which is used a lot in drilling.

It is looking more like Apple is working on a Car. If so, that will be great for many industries, but could be a real threat to the traditional car companies. It is also possible that they may use Aluminum or Plastic for the vehicle, which could be a real threat to the steel industry.

For current prices, please call us at 919-828-5426 in Raleigh, 919-731-5600 in Goldsboro.

With that we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week. Tune in next week for the Commodity and Recycling report.