This is the Scrap Metal, Commodities, Recycling and Economic Report, by BENLEE and Raleigh and Goldsboro Recycling, May 21st, 2017.
Last week many commodity prices rose and economic reports were mixed.
U.S steel production dipped slightly, but remains trending up and remains slightly ahead of where it was two years.
Oil rose about $2.50/barrel, to $50.53, showing signs of stabilization and remaining above the key $40, great for U.S. energy job growth.
The oil rig count rose to 720, the highest level in over two years and more than double the 316 low of last year. Yet 720 is still down 55% from the 1609 of about three years ago.
Iron ore also rose about $2.50 to $61.50/MT. It is still about double a year ago, but still off its recent highs.
Scrap Ferrous were steady and volumes remain steady as well. As we look to June, many are saying prices could be steady for most grades and slightly down for bushling.
Hot dipped galvanized steel remained steady again at $900/MT. With steady to slowly rising demand and stable material prices, we would expect few changes up or down in the weeks to come.
Stainless 304 scrap held steady on an equilibrium of supply and demand and just a slow growth in global economics.
The U.S. dollar fell vs other currencies to its lowest level since November 2016, which is a result of good global growth and recently what is viewed as U.S. political turmoil and concerns about implementing promised reforms. As has been discussed, by definition when the U.S. dollar weakens, commodity prices, priced in U.S. dollars usually rise.
Copper rose 6 cents to $2.57 a pound on mixed global economic news and as said weakening U.S. dollar. Prices this morning are up about a penny to $2.58.
The 5 year chart shows some stabilization at a somewhat lower price of a few months ago, but prices are nicely above where they were 18 months ago.
and copper inventories remain at about a 12 month high, which will keep downward pressure on prices.
Aluminum rose 2.5 cents to 88 cents which is now near almost 2.5 year highs based on the weakening dollar, solid demand and steady production.
Aluminum inventories continue fall and once again fell to new 9 year lows and are now down a staggering 72 percent from 3.5 years ago which is keeping upward pressure on prices.
Our first Cardboard graph shows data that clearly follows many other commodities as we see prices are up considerably in recent years. We will have a better chart next week.
This chart is based on a warning from Ray Dalio the founder of the world’s largest Hedge fund that manages about $150 Billion. He said while economic growth looks good for at least the next two years, high debt levels, high health and pension costs as well as increasing social and political conflicts, may make long-term economic stability a problem and he has a chart to show it.
Housing starts have been trending up since 2009, but have come down a bit in recent months to a seasonal adjusted rate of 1.17 million, the weakest in 5 months. The positive news is that in 1972, 45 years ago when the U.S was much smaller, housing Me. starts were more than double at 2.5 million, so there major upside.
U.S. Industrial production rose a full 1 percent in April. It was the largest increase since February 2014 as output rebounded for both manufacturing and mining. A great performance that brings stable commodity prices.
Initial unemployment claims fell 4 thousand to 236,000, to almost a level not seen in almost 45 years. Again, under 300,000 is a key measure that means growth.
As always, feel free to call or email me with any questions and we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week.