CHICAGO Most metals products saw their producer price indices (PPI) move lower in November compared with October and a year earlier, although iron and steel scrap bucked the monthly trend, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The price index for iron and steel scrap, which landed at 527.3 for November, rose 11.9 percent from Octobers 471.1, BLS data show.
The PPI for aluminum-based scrap also rose, inching up 0.6 percent month on month, along with titanium mill shapes (up 1.2 percent to 186.9).
Registering month-on-month PPI declines were copper-based scrap, down 3.5 percent to 578.6; steel mill products, down 1.3 percent to 196.8; aluminum mill shapes, down 0.8 percent to 177.4; and copper and brass mill shapes, down 3.3 percent to 425.9
On a year-on-year basis, the pricing index for ferrous scrap fell 11 percent, copper scrap dropped 0.7 percent and aluminum scrap declined 3.3 percent.
On a macro scale, "PPI fluctuations are being driven by the ups and downs in food and energy prices, but the underlying picture for inflation is very quiet," Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at Lexington, Mass.-based consultancy IHS Global Insight Inc., said last week. "Core finished goods prices were up just 0.1 percent (in November), and intermediate costs, excluding food and energy, fell slightly."