CHICAGO The price index for copper-based scrap logged
a third consecutive monthly gain in February, according to
data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while those
for ferrous scrap and aluminum scrap lost ground.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) for copper-based scrap stood
at 629.5 in February, not seasonally adjusted, up 1.5 percent
month on month and 3.3 percent higher than December. The PPI
for copper and brass mill shapes, at 437.7, improved 0.7
percent from January.
Meanwhile, the PPI for iron and steel scrap fell 3.5 percent
month on month to 515.3. Steel mill products, with a PPI of
196.7, fell 0.9 percent in the same comparison.
The price index for aluminum-based scrap fell 0.6 percent,
while that for aluminum mill shapes rose 0.6 percent from
The headline finished goods PPI moved up 0.7 percent
(seasonally adjusted) last month, led by energy and food
prices. But the price index for crude materials, minus
energy, fell 1.7 percent compared with January, with nearly
half of the decline attributable to carbon steel scrap, which
fell 3.7 percent, the BLS said.
Inflation remains quiet. Oil and gasoline prices have
fallen since February, so the headline PPI should drop in
March, Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global
Insight Inc., Lexington, Mass., predicted.
The Federal Reserves Beige Book, a business
survey of current economic conditions, reports that fuel
costs moved higher, with the exception of natural gas. Survey
respondents also noted higher crop, housing, wholesale and
retail prices, but these reports were scattered and not
across the board.