This is the Commodities, Scrap Metal, Recycling and Economic Report, September 18th, 2023.
U.S. weekly raw steel production fell to 1.72MT, a 75.7% steel mill utilization rate vs. 76.4% last year. This was on continued slow U.S. manufacturing.
WTI crude oil price rose to $91.13/b. a 10-month high, which is inflationary. This was on China stimulus and continued supply cuts by Saudia Arabia and Russia. Also, the U.S. oil companies remain committed to shareholders by only implementing a slight increase in production to keep higher prices that bring higher profits.
The U.S. weekly oil rig count was up slightly to 515, as U.S. oil companies remain committed to a tight supply. But importantly, the U.S. continues to be the #1 oil producer in the world; higher than Saudia Arabia or Russia.
U.S. weekly crude oil production rose slightly to 12.9Mb/d, but was the highest in 4.5 years, while we are exporting, yes exporting near a record level. Note that 70% of the oil we import is from Canada and Mexico, while only 7% is from Saudia Arabia. We turn much of our imported oil into things like diesel fuel and gasoline, which we then export.
Scrap Steel #1 HMS price was steady at $330/GT. This was on slow U.S. manufacturing causing weak demand. Also, the strong U.S. Dollar, raises the prices other countries pay for U.S. scrap, so that hurts scrap exports.
Hot-rolled coil steel price fell to $33.48/cwt., $670T on weak demand.
Copper price rose to $3.80/lb., on improved demand in China, which is 50% of global demand.
Aluminum price rose to $1.00/lb., $2,195/mt, as China halted aluminum production expansion. Also, increased demand from solar panels and electric vehicles is offsetting lower construction demand.
U.S. August NFIB small business optimism index fell to 91.3 as 23% reported inflation as the #1 issue. Also, more companies were concerned about business in the next 6 months.
U.S. August Industrial production rose .4% from July, as manufacturing and mining were up the most.
U.S. August annual inflation rose to 3.7%, as fuel oil and gasoline rose the most. Core inflation which excludes food and energy actually fell to 4.3%.
U.S. August retail sales, which are a major part of the U.S. economy. Sales rose 2.5% over the past year, but with 3.7% inflation, they were below last year in units. Gasoline and clothing were up the most.
U.S. September U of M consumer sentiment fell to 67.7, just off a two year high. Current conditions felt worse, but future expectations rose.
Wall Street’s S&P 500 index, which is a broader index than the Dow 30, fell to 4,450 as high-tech stocks fell and the auto strike began.
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