Recycling prices and market commentary: 12 February 2021


Paper and plastic grades were mostly subdued this week as the struggles in the recycling market continued to have an impact.

Metal grades saw movement though, with copper and brass both showing gains.


This week also saw the publication of the latest NPWD monthly data, and that caused a lot of scratching of heads at how plastic and paper performed so well, considering all the difficulties in finding and moving material.

Getting material into Europe continues to be a challenge with hauliers asking for ‘waiting money’ in case they get stuck at customs or lorry parks. These bills could rapidly escalate if the price is not fixed, and even when fixed, are making some wonder whether it is worth sending material onto the Continent at the moment, even though demand is there. Others are deciding to take the risk.

As one recycler put it, “Hauliers have to work more like shipping lines now” recognising that the days of moving freely across borders have gone and that there will be more paperwork.

The pound continues to get more expensive against the dollar at $1.37 and pushing towards $1.38 territory compared to $1.36 a week ago. But the pound and euro hovered around €1.14 all week.

Recycled plastics

There wasn’t too much change in the plastic market this week, with the exception of higher LDPE grades that saw £25 knocked off them. This was as a result of it being said that Turkey continues to be challenging with a tougher inspection regime, although some noted material was getting through.

With Malaysia still out of the equation, and moving material into Europe still difficult, the market for film has eased. UK buyers are happy to wait, aiming to lower the price further over the coming week.

Additionally, the latest NPWD data didn’t give a boost to the PRN/PERN price as some had expected (although it had temporarily risen before falling back again). Instead, those in the market are wondering where prices are likely to head after the surprisingly (perhaps worryingly strange?) strong data that came through for January.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2236-242242-248

Recycled paper

It was a quiet week with it seeming that those who could had bought long for the month at the beginning of February.

Getting hold of material is a challenge, but buyers want fibre if you can get it there.

Europe remains keen to buy, but Chinese New Year today also seems to have had an influence softening Indian and South East Asian markets. However, there was some good news that exports to Indonesia can resume.

Some of the rising temperature appears to have been taken out of the market, but there is still enough people wanting material to justify the same prices as were being paid last week.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper was the strongest performer this week, gaining £175 per tonne. Brass was the other mover increasing by £75 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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