Exporters are reporting that the price paid for plastics by Chinese buyers has started to fall.
In particular, this is impacting on low-value grades.
A combination of global economic conditions (with particular emphasis on the eurozone crisis), weaker general demand from China, higher shipping rates and also an increase in Chinese duty, has stifled demand.
One exporter told SCM magazine: “This began around about last week, and as an example, if we were getting $500 for a container, the Chinese are now saying they want it for $100 cheaper.”
“The duty has gone up and the commodity price has gone down by 5 to 10 per cent. The market is flooded and this is affecting everyone around the world sending material into China.
“We got a signal for this when the price of paper, and OCC in particular, started to fall in March and plastics are now following.”
He added that low grade materials were struggling in particular with very little demand, although high prices were still being paid for extremely good quality 98/2 LDPE where the 2 per cent contamination was coloured material only in addition to the clear.
The price of PET bottles is also moving lower due to less demand from the fibre market.
Another exporter said: “The Chinese are clamping down on low-grade waste, and the ports have been much stricter in the past three weeks. The Chinese Government has also brought online some PE factories to the detriment of importers too.”
He said that this was having an impact on moving UK material with stockpiling of film and mixed rigid plastics beginning to happen as traders cannot find a home for the grades.