This is the Scrap Metal, Commodities, Recycling and Economic Report, by BENLEE and Raleigh and Goldsboro Recycling, February 19th, 2018. Last week, commodity prices were mostly higher and economic reports were mixed.

weekly tonnage of raw steel production

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

Crude Oil

Oil rose about $2.50/barrel to $61.61, on good demand and a weak dollar, as strong U.S production is keeping prices somewhat in check.

US Field Production of Crude Oil

U.S. oil production hit a new all-time high in the history of the U.S. Absolutely great for jobs and great for reducing our risk in Middle Eastern problems.

Iron Ore

Iron ore was steady at $78.00, remaining near multi-month highs on growth of demand and good supply.

AMM Weekly Heavy Melt Price

Scrap ferrous prices were steady, but export prices are on the rise, which could take domestic prices up next month along with 232 actions which we will talk about shortly.

304 Stainless Scrap

Stainless 304 scrap rose to a multi-year high on good demand and a weak U.S. Dollar.

Copper

Copper rose a huge 20 cents to $3.24 on good demand and a weak U.S. Dollar. Copper is down 3 cents this morning to $3.21.

5 Year Copper

The 5 year chart has copper slightly off the multi-year high that it hit two months ago in December.

5 Year Copper LMEr

Copper inventories were little changed on the higher prices, which might be expected.

Aluminum

Aluminum rose 3 cents to 99.5 cents, remaining near the multiyear high of two months ago on good demand and a weak dollar.

5 Year Aluminum LME

Aluminum LME inventories rose slightly, but still remain near the about 8 year lows of last week, but as said, many U.S. smelters are full and need little scrap.

OCC Southeast

Cardboard prices fell again on weak demand from China and are near almost two year lows. At the current $110/ton, prices were 68 percent higher last year.

US Steel Imports

The Department of Commerce released their 232 report based the effect of imports of steel and aluminum on our national security. Major tariffs and quotas are being recommended that will help U.S. producers on top of the major tariffs put in place two years ago by the Obama administration. If this happens we will see higher steel and aluminum prices.

US Dollar Index

The U.S. dollar fell to a new three year low, with some slight recovery Friday. The low U.S. dollar takes up commodity prices in U.S. dollars and lowers prices for U.S. companies that export, while raising import prices we pay.

US Retail Sales

US retail trade fell unexpectedly by 0.3 percent month-over-month in January, after showing no growth in December and below market expectations of a 0.2 percent gain. It was the largest decline in retail trade since February last year, mainly due to a drop in auto sales. This bad news is somewhat good news in that slowing will help keep inflation down.

US Industrial Production MOM

US industrial production fell unexpectedly by 0.1 percent month-over-month in January, following a downwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in December and missing market expectations of a 0.2 percent gain. Mining output contracted while manufacturing production showed no growth.

US Housing Starts

U.S. Housing starts jumped 9.7 percent month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.3 million in January, following a downwardly revised 6.9 percent fall in December and beating market expectations of a 3.4 percent rise. It is the highest rate since October of 2016. This is great for jobs and will put upward pressure on prices.

US Consumer Sentiment

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the U.S. increased to 99.9 in February from 95.7 in January and well above market expectations of 95.5. It is the second highest reading since 2004, preliminary estimates showed. Both current conditions and future expectations improved.

Dow Jones

Wall Street had one of its worst week’s ever two weeks ago and had one of its best weeks ever last week, rising over 1000 points to 25,219 on all the overall good news in the economy.

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