Recycling prices and market commentary: 11 February 2022


It was a strangely reluctant market this week, where traders didn’t seem to want to commit.

Possibly, this was because there is a sense that markets may change over the coming weeks.


For the paper sector, this is because it many are of the view that prices may have peaked for now. While in plastics, there is uncertainty around the PRN/PERN price and situation.

While there were some small price rises for paper grades, plastics were stable.

Metals was its usual self though, with prices dropping this week.

Yesterday saw the publication of draft data for 2021’s compliance year and it seems both plastics and glass only reached target because of carry-in from 2020. With all of January 2022’s initial data (with the exception of glass other) down on the same month in 2021, compliance could be a challenge if these patterns continue.

The pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.35 and no change with the euro at €1.18.

Recycled plastics

Prices were stable this week for physical grades. However, the PRN/PERN price dropped by £5 to £6 although there was very little trading going on.

When the data was published yesterday, there wasn’t a reaction that might have been expected. As mentioned above, the draft plastic data for 2021 showed that compliance would not have been met if it wasn’t for the carry-in from 2020. Plus, January’s monthly data was also lower than January 2021.

Why didn’t prices rise? One theory is that there is nervousness still from the end of last year when people were seeing PRN/PERNs removed from the market. But it could be there are lots of different explanations including it could just be a blip following Covid restrictions in December and a quieter January trading period. What is clear though is that PRN/PERN prices will be determined by what the data shows over the coming months.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2470-476473-479

Recycled paper

Many seem to take the view that the market is reaching a peak and that there is resistance to prices going any higher.

There are fears from mills about the situation with Ukraine, global inflation and general slowdowns in economies meaning less demand for fibre.

While prices remain high because supply is weak, there is also a view that demand is more likely to drop than supply increase.

But this week saw OCC and mixed paper increase by £2 per tonne. This was mostly people topping up as most trades have long been done for this month, and the focus is now on March.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

While copper and brass grades dropped by £10 per tonne, ferrous metals increased by £10 per tonne.

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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