This is the Scrap Metal, Commodities, Recycling and Economic Report, by BENLEE and Raleigh and Goldsboro Recycling, September 18th, 2017.

Last week commodity prices and economic reports were mixed.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S steel production fell slightly, remaining well ahead of last year and slightly ahead of two years ago.

Crude Oil

Oil rose $2/barrel to $49.83 as demand remains good and Texas refineries come back on line after the hurricane. The oil rig count fell 7 to 749 as oil stayed below the important $50 for the U.S. producers to make a good profit.

Iron Ore

Iron ore fell $3/MT to $70.00, as recent declines continue that we have seen in recent weeks.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt Price

Scrap ferrous prices rose slightly as global demand remains balanced with supply, but the recent U.S. hurricanes are going to increase supply significantly which could lower prices.

Hot Dipped Galvanized Coil

Hot dipped galvanized steel remained steady yet again at $950/ton thereby staying at this higher level.

Copper

Copper fell 9 cents to $2.95. Unwinding speculation along with manufacturing slowdowns are hitting copper hard. Copper is up 2 cents Monday to $2.97.

5 Year Copper

The 5 year chart shows copper is about 20 cents lower than the about three year highs of a couple of weeks ago.

5 Year LME Copper

Copper inventories rose slightly, putting sight downward pressure on prices.

Aluminum

Aluminum fell 1 cent to 93.2 cents, remaining near its recent high.

5 Year Aluminum

Looking at the 5 year chart we see $.93 is near the about 4 year high of $.96 from three weeks ago.

5 Year LME Aluminum

Aluminum inventories were stable remaining near their about 10 year lows on the good demand in transportation and construction.

OCC Southeast (High Side)

Cardboard fell $10/Ton to $175, but remains more than double the $80/T of about 18 months ago. Big numbers.

US Industrial Production

U.S. August Industrial production fell .9 from July, making it the first drop in output since January and the largest drop since May 2009. Hurricane Harvey hit the economy hard.

China Industrial Production

China’s August industrial production rose 6 percent over July. While strong, it is the weakest gain since December. On the positive side, while mining contracted, manufacturing output grew 6.9% from July’s 6.7%.

US Inflation Rate

U.S. inflation hit a three month high of 1.9 percent as Hurricane Harvey spiked gasoline prices, but core inflation, excluding gasoline and food was steady at 1.7%, lower than the Fed’s target of 2%.

Job Openings

U.S. job openings hit an all-time high of 6.17 million in July. This is great news, unless you are like us and are having a tough time finding new workers. This high is almost three times the low of 2009, when there were 2.196 million openings.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The stock market hit yet another new high, ending at 22,286 up 488 points for the week, putting upward pressure on commodity prices.

China

Despite China continuing to have good industrial production levels, there continues to be a major slowdown in recycled materials being sold into the country. Prices are now falling for low grade items like electric motors and insulated wire.

Tesla

China has announced that they will shortly follow a version of what Britain and France have announced, which is that by 2040, only 23 years from now; all cars sold in the country will have to be electric. This could put upward pressure on copper prices for years to come.

Target

Target is the 8th largest U.S. retailer, only slightly behind Amazon at #7, making Target an important part of the U.S. economy. They announced that they will be hiring 100,000 seasonal workers for the Holidays, up 40% from last year. A very positive sign.

Scrap Hauler

Efficiency in hauling scrap metal is key to our designs at BENLEE. We are leaders in 48’ and 53’ Open Top Scrap Gondola Trailers, that are strong, light and frameless. We even sold one this morning! Call us for a quote.

As always, feel free to call or email me with any questions and we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week.