Recycling prices and market commentary: 1 February 2019

Cardboard ready for recycling

Recovered fibre was the material that changed most dramatically this week with price falls seen across most grades.

With demand falling, OCC, ONP, mixed paper and SOW all saw price falls (more on this below).


Otherwise, most metals were stable with the exception of copper, while recycled plastics also saw no change.

However, with it being the first day of the new compliance period, some PRN/PERN prices changed and some are expected to change over the coming weeks and have an impact on physical prices.

Indeed, paper, plastic and wood PRN/PERN prices all increased with the latter seeing a particularly big jump. Wood has tough targets to meet this year, and the end of the 2018 transition and compliance period yesterday, brought a boost for wood. From around £28 per tonne last week, it jumped up to £60 this week.

For the few companies that were able to export, currencies were largely flat on last week, which at least brought some stability.

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Recycled plastics

Plastic prices saw no change this week, with much of the market now waiting to see what will happen with PRN/PERN prices as we fully enter into the 2019 compliance period.

The plastic PRN/PERN price increased a touch by around £4 per tonne, but people are wondering whether it will fall back, or even rise in the coming weeks. Much will depend on what the January data says when published next week, even though it is an unreliable indicator until the full quarterly data is published.

In other news, as reported here, plastic exports to the European Union could face a 6.5% tariff under a no-deal Brexit scenario.

With the proposed Norway amendment (as reported first on this site last summer) to the Basel Convention potentially requiring plastics be removed from the green list, this could make exporting plastics into Europe very tricky if there is also a tariff to be paid.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

There was a lot of downward movement for recovered fibre prices this week.

OCC dropped on the back of an even further decrease in demand from Chinese buyers, corresponding with the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival.

For those few who did trade with Chinese buyers, £88 was possible to achieve for Chinese specification material, but most were up to £10 lower than that.

Non-China material was trading in the region of £60 to £68 per tonne.

With demand falling in Europe, mixed paper prices also dropped with quoted prices from £25 to £32 per tonne.

News & pam also came off by £5 per tonne this week.

The struggles of French company Arjowiggins, and the administration of its UK operation and receivership of some French mills, helped to push the price of SOW down by around £15 per tonne.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper was the only mover this week, gaining £100 per tonne due to increases on the LME.

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

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