Recycling prices and market commentary: 11 November 2022

Cardboard recycling
Cardboard recycling

There isn’t a lot of confidence around in the market at the moment, and there isn’t a great deal of consistency either.

The consensus is that anything can happen and that is confusing traders.


For example, the price of PET bottles has dropped considerably, LDPE film crept up a bit and may come back down as quickly, while some industrial metals saw a big increase. Other grades were more stable, but could as easily change next week.

And then there is the PRN/PERN market, which is confusing everybody too. With it reported Morrison’s has now decided to meet its obligation, that leaves one very big food producer (as reported on 28 October) still not registered. There is a lot of scratching of heads about whether they, and other smaller producers not registered, will enter the market and what this will mean.

Picking out what this will mean for how prices will move in the next few weeks is proving very difficult. But the global economic situation, and the UK looking set to enter into recession, is providing a lot of worry about supply and demand of material.

The pound strengthened against the dollar this week reaching $1.17 compared to $1.12 last week. This made deep sea material more expensive. The euro was unchanged at €1.14 on last week.

Recycled plastics

The price of PET bottles came down by £100 per tonne as traders booked in tonnage for the rest of the month. When taking the PRN/PERN into account, the value of these is effectively negative.

There are reports that many collectors of these are struggling to move stocks, even of the highest quality material, with demand from PET recyclers exceptionally weak.

HDPE bottles have also come down a bit too, again due to lower demand.

Conversely, LDPE film actually increased a little, with European buyers and some Asian trade taking advantage of positive exchange rates and the PRN/PERN value. But with the latter coming off, and the former now less advantageous, next week might see any gains reversed.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2680-686668-674

Recycled paper

It was a quiet week as there wasn’t a huge amount of material to trade. Asian buyers were still looking for OCC in particular and paying broadly similar prices to last week.

For mixed, there wasn’t much interest at all, and where it was trading it was a bit lower than last week.

News & pams has also started to come off with newsprint mills now stocked up ahead of expected bigger print runs as a result of the upcoming football World Cup.

Tissue mills also seem happy with their stocks, and are benefitting from more people back at work for office papers, so are less reliant on dipping into mid-grades.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper increased by £400 per tonne this week, and brass was up by £300 per tonne. However, ferrous grades dropped by £10 per tonne, although steel cans have actually lost £20 per tonne due to lower demand.

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