and steel scrap went against the trend of weak metal pricing in
December, according to the latest producer price index (PPI)
report from the U.S. Bureau of
The PPI for iron and
steel scrap jumped to 575.5 in December, up 5.9 percent from
the previous month and 8.2 percent higher than in December
2012. Last months index for steel mill products rose just
0.3 percent from November to 196.4 but was down 1 percent from
a year earlier.
The price index for
copper and brass mill shapes was put at 408.1, up 1 percent
month over month but down 6.1 percent from December 2012. The
PPI for copper-based scrap of 568.9 was flat compared with
November and down 6.2 percent year over year.
The aluminum scrap
index declined to 215.7, down 0.6 percent from November and
11.1 percent from December 2012.
"The quiet on the
producer price front is clearly reflected in the changes over
the past 12 months," Michael Montgomery, U.S. economist for IHS
Global Insight, Lexington, Mass., said in a written statement.
Core finished goods prices rose 1.4 percent compared with a
year earlier vs. a 2.1-percent improvement in 2012 and 3
percent in 2011, he said. "The December 2013 gain matched
2010," Montgomery said.
"Thanks to weaker
energy prices, the total index gain was leaner still (at 1.2
percent year over year) for its coolest performance since 2008,
when the recession battered all commodities prices," he
"There is no reason to
expect much stiffening up of price gains this year, but the
recovery in Europe and China is a plus rather than a negative
this year," Montgomery said, so the prognosis is for slightly
largerbut still modestgains.