This is the Scrap Metal Commodities Recycling and Economic Report, by BENLEE and Raleigh and Goldsboro Recycling, April 23, 2018.

Last week, commodity prices and economic reports were mixed.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

U.S steel production fell slightly, but remains well ahead of where it has been for the last two years which is being helped by tariffs.

Crude Oil

Oil rose about $1/barrel to $68.26, a multiyear high due to a good global economy and as OPEC continues lower production to get prices up. Friday President Trump tweeted that OPEC’s cuts were hurting the U.S., which caused oil prices to fall slightly.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. oil production hit another new high to 10.54 million barrels per day. OPEC’s cuts bring higher prices, therefore brings more incentives for U.S. production and more U.S. jobs.

Iron Ore

Iron ore rose $3.50/ton $68.50, near a multi month low but well ahead of two years ago on good global demand and supply.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt Price

Scrap steel Heavy Melt #1 prices remained at $353/GT well more than double about two years ago. Flows into scrap yards have picked up as demand remains good. Good flows could bring steady to slightly lower prices next month.

Hot Roll Coil Steel

Hot dipped galvanized steel hit a new multiyear high of $1,180/Ton on good demand helped by tariffs reducing cheaper imports.


Copper rose 6 cents to $3.15 on little news other than global economics remain good. Copper is down 4 cents this morning to $3.11.

5 Year Copper

Copper remains slightly off the multiyear high of a few months ago on this 5 year chart.

5 Year Copper LME

Copper inventories fell slightly on little news, remaining near a multiyear high with solid prices and production.


Aluminum prices remained near a 6 year high of $1.11 as U.S. sanctions on Russian producers remain having a major effect on global aluminum supplies.

5 Year Aluminum LME

Aluminum LME inventories rose slightly, to near an 8 month high, as prices sky rocket.

5 Year Nickle

Nickel hit a multiyear high of $6.69/lb. on good global economics and supply not keeping up with demand.

China Flag

China announced it will ban the import of all insulated wire and electric motors by the end of 2018 and all nonferrous metals, except Aluminum and copper by the end of 2019. This will create more U.S. jobs as wire will now be chopped in the U.S. and motors will go in U.S. shredders and other motor choppers.


Nucor, the U.S.’s second largest steel producer announced 1Q earnings slightly better than last year, after 2017, being the best year since 2008. They also announced a very positive outlook for the 2nd Quarter.

US Industrial Production

U.S. industrial production increased by 0.5 percent in March, following a downwardly revised 1 percent advance in February yet beating market expectations of a 0.4 percent gain. Manufacturing and mining growth eased from February, while March utilities output rebounded sharply after an unusually warm February.

US Housing Starts

U.S. Housing starts are near a 15 year high, but are at levels from the 1960s. The good news is starts are almost triple the 2009 low. Overall great news for high wage jobs.

Dow Jones

The stock market’s Dow Jones rose 102 points ending at 24,463, as global markets remain concerned about interest rates, rising commodity prices, Iran, N. Korea and more.

Load Lugger

It was great to see many of you in Las Vegas last week. We will be there again this week for the Waste Show. A surprise was many did not know a few years ago we purchased the Load Lugger brand, which was made by Heil and then Huge Haul, who’s product line we acquired. You can now buy the #1 Lugger Hoist from us at BENLEE or rent a Lugger Truck for the week, month or year from Premier Truck Sales and Rental.

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