Recycling market sentiment report: where is the market headed? April 2018-April 2019

Recycling rollercoaster
Are recycling prices headed up or down?

This REB market sentiment report is a survey of key stakeholders in the recycling market of where they believe the market is headed in one month, three months and 12 months.

As a result, it is intended as a guide and Hanicke Robins Sanderson Limited cannot be held responsible for any commercial decisions made as a result of this information.


The recycling market believes that the bottom has been reached and April is likely to see prices remaining the same, or perhaps even increasing slightly.

In this month’s REB Recycling Market Sentiment Report, the view is generally optimistic that we will see slight improvement over the next three months for most grades, but not all.

But over the next 12 months, the picture is more varied, without any sense though that huge price falls or price rises are on the way for most grades.


For PET bottles, the current average price given by respondents is £235 per tonne. In April, those surveyed expect a price rise of £5 per tonne to £240. But in three months, they expect this to fall back to £225 per tonne. In 12 months time, this is expected to settle back down to £200 per tonne.

The current average price given for HDPE bottles is £400 per tonne this month, and this is expected to rise to £410 per month in April and stay at that price in three months. In 12 months time, there will have been another price rise of £10 per tonne if the market is correct to £420 per tonne.

LDPE 98/2 film has a current average price of £192 according to the market, and this will drop a touch to £190 in April. In three months times, this will have dropped by a further £5 to £185, according to respondents. On a year-to-year basis, the price is expected to be £192 in April 2019.

According to those surveyed, HDPE Regrind is currently £540 per tonne, and they expect it to gain a further £10 per tonne to £550 in April. It will stay at this price they think in three months, and indeed in 12 months.

A similar pattern is seen with PP Regrind, where an average price of £560 was reported, and this is expected to rise to £580 in April and remain at that price in three months and 12 months.


For OCC, the average price reported was £66 currently and this is expected to increase to £70 in April. However, in three months, the expectation is that this will only have risen to £71. The market sentiment is better for 12 months though, with an expected price of £81 per tonne in April 2019.

The current average price from those surveyed for news & pam is £86 and in April this is forecast to be down a touch to £85. In three months, this will have changed to £87 the market believes, and is anticipated to be just £88 in April 2019.

This week’s average price for mixed paper is £8 per tonne, according to those surveyed, and they don’t expect this to change next month. However, a small amount of improvement is expected in three months to £14 per tonne, with this rising to £38 per tonne in April 2019.


A price of £170 for steel cans was reported for this week, with this forecast to fall to £165 per tonne in April. Over three months, a further £8 per tonne is expected to be lost, lowering the price to £157 per tonne. Over 12 months, a further price decline is expected, bringing the price down to £120 per tonne.

An average price of £1055 for aluminium cans was given by those surveyed for this week, and they expect £50 to be lost on this in April. Over three months a further £50 is forecast to be lost to £950 per tonne, and this is also the forecast price in 12 months too.

Please note, there may be a discrepancy between the average current prices quoted here and our weekly prices. This is because we use a market assessment taking into account a range of factors to produce our weekly market price, while the price quoted here is just an average. 

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