Roll off Trailers-Scrap Metal Recycling Report

November 12, 2015

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Scrap Metal & Commodities Recycling Report – BENLEE Roll Off Trailers 11.9.15

November 9, 2015

This is the Scrap Metal & Commodities Recycling report, by BENLEE Roll off and Open Top Trailers as well as Raleigh and Goldsboro Metal Recycling.

Today is Monday November 9th, 2015.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. steel production was down yet again last week and has been declining for months. Production also remains well below last year.

oil rig count

U.S. oil drilling rigs which use large amounts of steel, had their count fall yet again last week. There is no sign that workers that make steel for these rigs will be coming back to work anytime soon.

us scrap price since 2014

This chart of scrap steel prices of the last almost two years shows scrap steel is now selling for about a third of what it was less than two years ago. The U.S.’s largest foreign buyer of scrap steel is Turkey, which has been reducing their global scrap purchases, so combined with the U.S. where production and scrap use is declining, low scrap demand is bringing low prices.

scrap price collapse 1934-2015

Last week we showed a version of this chart that has annual average scrap steel prices going back to 1934, but this chart adds where prices are today. Our thanks to Michael Slifirski of Credit Suisse for the chart. Again this is the largest drop from an annual average price, in the approximately 155 years of the U.S. steel industry. This chart shows a drop of $204/GT from the high average price of 2014, which is a drop of $9.11/Hundred. If you looked at data from the peak of last year which was about $405/GT, that peak to today’s $148/GT, is a stunning drop of $257/GT, which is $11.47/hundred. To put this into perspective, a few years ago we were paying $12/Hundred for a 3,000 lb. Camry, which was US scrap price HMS 1/2 US$/t$360. Today we are paying $1.50/Hundred which is $45. We were paying 8 times more for that same car, a few years ago.

scrap vs. iron ore

Lastly as it relates to scrap steel, looking at iron ore pricing and scrap steel pricing, as China’s economy slows and they reduce steel production, iron ore demand and then iron ore pricing will decline, which will take scrap steel prices down even further.


Copper declined last week and has been falling for about a month. While a couple of months ago copper prices stabilized after major copper mine shut down, China’s current low demand is a key reason for copper’s decline.

5 year copper

Looking that this 5 year copper price chart, it shows last week copper closed at an almost new 6+ year low. Related, yesterday, Sunday, China released very troubling trade data, which was well below expectations. In October China’s exports were down a large 6.9% from a year ago and their imports were down a staggering 18.8%.

6 month aluminum spot

Aluminum prices were up for the week, which was the first real uptick since the summer. The reason was pretty clear. Last week the largest producer of Aluminum, Alcoa announced shutting down three enormous smelters in the U.S. which will restrict supply.

5 year aluminum spot

But looking at this 5 year chart of Aluminum pricing, it is clear that Aluminum is trading near 6 year lows.

us steel porposed new headquarters

Steel prices continue to fall as discussed, which is great news for buyers of steel, but lower prices took a toll last week as U.S. Steel announced a major loss and announced they are scrapping moving to a new headquarters building to save costs. AreclorMittal, the largest steel producer in the world, also announced a major loss, with falling prices being a key reason.

us total vehicle sales

We always like to end on a positive note, so last week, U.S. car sales were released and it is possible that 2015 will be a record sales year for the U.S. industry. The largest car market in the world is China and their sales were also up last month.

october jobs report

October U.S. job hiring was released last week. The data surpassed estimates with 271,000 new jobs created and the unemployment rate hit a new multi-year low at 5%.

With that we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week. My name is Greg Brown

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