Recycling prices and commentary: 17 March 2023

Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling
Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling

Markets were generally pretty flat this week, and where there was movement tended to be because of changes in the PRN/PERN market for packaging grades.

This wasn’t the case with metals though, where some dropped considerably.


It is the case across the board that getting hold of material is a problem at present, but then when you have it, finding orders is also pretty difficult.

Therefore, markets are tending to balance out and people are waiting to see if something happens to change this.

The pound gained on the dollar to reach $1.21 compared to $1.19 a week ago. It was also up a little compared to the euro at €1.14 from €1.13 last week.

Recycled plastics

It isn’t a particularly dynamic market at the moment in terms of volumes, with prices for packaging grades largely tracking the volatility of the PRN/PERN market.

With that down by £15 per tonne this week, packaging grades were lowered by the same amount.

There is a general view that there isn’t a lot of material out there, and for the time being markets are quite balanced between supply and demand. There are some indications though that this could change.

Recycled paper

It is a very stable market, with those trading doing it at the same prices as last week.

But those that were trading were few and far between and there is some anticipation to see if that changes next week when people may be buying for April.

There isn’t really a dominant destination at the moment, as orders that are coming are ticking along rather than driving the market.

For the deep sea market, they are also having to compete with cheap local Chinese OCC that may flatten out demand from Chinese mills in Asia and Indian mills that also supply them with pulp.

European mills are reported to have high stocks of finished goods, which is keeping demand from there flat to none existent too.

Recycled metals

Copper was down by £300 per tonne, and brass by £350 per tonne this week.

Recycling prices

For recycled paper prices, click here

For recycled plastic prices, click here

For recycled metal prices, click here

For recycled glass prices, click here

For PRN/PERN prices, click here