This is the Scrap Metal Commodities Recycling and Economic Report, by BENLEE and Raleigh and Goldsboro Recycling, March 19th, 2018. Last week, commodity prices and economic reports were both up and down.
U.S steel production fell slightly, but remains ahead of last year and two years ago on good demand and as the effects of the coming tariffs reduce imports.
Oil rose 33 cents to $66.21, remaining near the multiyear high of a couple of months ago on good global demand and supply.
U.S. oil production hit a new high to 10.4 million barrels per day, which is great for U.S. the U.S. economy.
Iron ore fell $3 to $73.00, off about 9 percent from the about $80/Ton of two months ago, on good global demand and supply.
Scrap steel Heavy Melt prices rose on this chart to show the full about $20/GT rise to $338/GT on good demand and just OK supply. We are hearing prices could be slightly up in April as demand remains strong with supply lagging a bit.
Hot dipped galvanized steel stayed at the multi-year high of $990/Ton, on news of the tariffs and good demand in many markets.
Copper fell a penny to $3.13 on little global news, as global demand continues to be good, not great. Copper is down 4 cents this morning to $3.09.
The 5 year chart shows copper is about 15 cents off the multi year high of late last year on little global news.
Copper inventories fell slightly on a good balance of supply and demand and no news.
Aluminum was down 1.5 cents to 93.6 cents, now down about 10 cents from the multi year high of a few months ago.
Aluminum LME inventories stayed flat at very low levels on a good balance of supply and demand.
Nucor announced a new steel mini mill electric furnace investment for Florida to make rebar. This will support solid prices in the SE U.S. as steel mills like this use scrap metal and DRI, not iron ore.
February U.S. Housing starts fell 7 percent vs. last year to 1.2 M units compared to 1.29M in January. Multi-family units were the lowest in 5 months, while single family projects increased.
February U.S. Retail sales, a major part of the U.S. economy fell .1 percent vs. a downwardly revised .1 percent drop in January. Motor vehicles, gasoline and furniture stores had the largest drop while gardening and building materials surged, with sporting goods being strong as well.
February’s U.S. Small Business optimism index rose to 107.6, the highest reading since July 1983, 35 years ago on expectations of higher sales. Taxes were rated as less of a problem but finding qualified workers remains an issue. As for higher sales, the BENLEE team thanks all our customers and I want to personally thank my BENLEE team in that we have the highest backlog in the 44 year history of the company.
U.S. Consumer confidence jumped to 102 in March from February’s 99.7, its strongest reading since January 2004 as the assessment of current economic conditions reached a record high. Interestingly people with incomes in the bottom third are feeling increasingly better while the top third feel worse, due to concerns about the outlook of the economy and their personal finances.
January’s U.S. job openings hit an all-time high in the history of the U.S. Professional and business services, transportation, warehousing, utilities and construction having the largest openings. Great overall economic news.
Wall Street lost a big 378 points, ending at 24,947 with news coming out of Washington DC making the markets nervous about to the future of tariffs and taxes.
As always, feel free to call or email me with any questions and we hope all have a Safe and Profitable week.