Recycling Market Conditions – looking ahead (3 April 2018)

Recycling market week ahead
Recycling market prices may change this week

This isn’t expected to be a busy week on the market, with many traders off this week due to the school holidays, or taking advantage of a long bank holiday weekend to have even more time off.

Indeed, last week was quiet, with some schools off in some areas. Next week is likely to be the same with some schools beginning their Easter breaks this week.


Last week did see a bit more interest in OCC with Chinese buyers back in the market after new import quotas were released. But with mill groups still assessing the new inspection regime and trying to understand what it means for them, demand will remain weak at least for the time being. However, the import quotas and a bit of competition for material, helped to push up prices last week, and a pound or two increase might be expected this week too.

Mixed paper also saw an increase last week, and it might this week, but if it does, it won’t be huge. News & pam is expected to be stable.

Forecast prices

                        6 April                    27 April 
OCC                 £77-81                    £73-77
ONP                 £84-88                    £81-85
Mixed paper     £8-12                      £8-12

PET                 £233-239                £231-237
HDPE              £399-405                £394-400
LDPE 98/2       £187-193                £185-191

Plastics are expected to remain fairly stable this week, with no real change expected for prices.

Cans are a bit harder to predict, with steel prices coming off last week. But the introduction of Chinese tariffs on scrap aluminium from the US could push up UK prices due to extra demand. More will become clearer on that over the coming weeks.

In terms of the macro-economics, data this week is a bit thin on the ground. Today sees the publication of the PMI reports on manufacturing (a separate article will be published on that later once US data is available), and this will give an indication on whether manufacturing continues to perform strongly across the globe.

The value of the pound against the dollar has actually come down slightly to $1.40 at the time of writing, after rising as high as $1.42 last week. This should give a slight price advantage to exporters this week if it stays at these levels, and might help support some minor material price increases.

Against the euro, the pound has been rather stable at €1.14 for the past week or so, and there is nothing to suggest any major swings will happen with this in the short-term.

In terms of the broader commodity market complex, the S&P GSCI rose 50 points in the middle of last week, but lost it all by yesterday. Effectively, most commodities are stable at the moment. Although interestingly, the S&P GSCI has risen by 11.88% over the past year, suggesting there has been some upward swing in the price of primary commodities since this time last year.

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