Scrap Monster

Global Economic, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Recycling Report March 11, 2019

This is the Global Economic, Scrap Metal, Commodities and Recycling Report, by BENLEE Roll off Trailers and Open Top Scrap Gondola Trailers, March 11th, 2019.


Last week, commodity prices were mostly down and economic reports were mixed.


weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S. steel production rose slightly to 1.927 Million tons which is near the multi-year high. A great number, which is great for jobs and profits.


Crude Oil

Oil fell 20 cents to $56.04 as global economic forecasts continue to weaken, which will hurt demand and keep prices in check.


US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. oil production was steady remaining at the new record high of 12.1M barrels a day that it reached two weeks ago. Absolutely great for the U.S., but it’s not yet enough to have a major impact on the U.S. deficit, to offset imports of goods from China and the rest of the world.


Iron Ore

Iron ore rose $1.00 to $87/ton, near a 2 year high as demand remains good, but slowing in some areas.


AMM Weekly Heavy Melt

Scrap steel #1 rose about $20/GT in most markets which will be fully shown on next week’s chart. Demand remains solid, but importantly, supply was hurt by bad weather. With the global economy slowing, prices will be seeing downward pressure going forward.


Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot roll coiled steel fell slightly to $34.90 on a good supply and slowing in key markets like Automotive. Tariffs remain supportive though.



Copper fell 3 cents to $2.90 on continued global weakness. Many say the price of copper is a key indicator of the global economy. Most of the world is growing, but at a slow rate.



Aluminum fell 1.5 cents to 83.9 cents, remaining near a one month high, with global slowing, while aluminum intensive industries like aircraft remain healthy.


Cardboard OCC

March’s scrap cardboard (OCC South East) fell to a new multiyear low of $65/Ton on good U.S. supply and weak global demand.


Chinese Imports

China’s February imports fell 5.2% year-on-year, the third straight month of decline. Soybeans, mostly from the U.S. were down 17.8%. Coal and iron ore were also down and unwrought copper was down 11.1% to an 11-month low.


U.S. Manufacturing

February’s U.S. Manufacturing grew, but at the slowest expansion in 2.5 years amid slower rises in output and new orders. Inflation remained tame while the global slowdown is hurting U.S. exports.


U.S. Trade Deficit

December’s U.S. trade deficit widened to $59.8 Billion, the largest in over 10 years as U.S. exports declined for the third month and imports increased. U.S. exports fell to Canada and Mexico, but rose to China. Global slowing hurting U.S. exports. For all of 2018, despite tariffs, the goods gap with China jumped to a record high on $250 Billion of Chinese imports.


U.S. Jobs Creation

February’s U.S. job creation stalled to 20,000, the lowest reading in a year, mainly due to a fall in construction employment, while professional and business services as well as healthcare rose.


Unemployment Rate

The job creation took the U.S. unemployment rate to near the 50 year low of 3.8%, a great number that is supporting economic growth.


Hourly Earnings

February’s U.S. average hourly earnings growth was 3.4%, the best in 10 years. While inflationary, it is great to support economic growth.


New Home Sales

December’s U.S. single family home sales climbed 3.7%, a great number considering a forecast of an 8.7% plunge. 2018 total is estimated at up 1.5%. Housing remains a key economic measure.


Consumer Confidence

March’s U.S. Consumer Optimism index rose to a 4-month high as Americans felt better about their own finances and the economic outlook in the next 6 months. This could help propel consumer spending and the economy.


Dow Jones

Wall Street’s Dow Jones fell 575 points, to 25,450, the worst week of the year. The poor jobs report and weak China data drove the decline.


ISRI 2019

The great ISRI meeting in Los Angeles is coming up. Data says it could be near a record attendance, so get your reservations now.

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