Recycling prices and market commentary: 13 November 2020

Mixed plastics
Mixed plastics

There was a bit more interest in the paper market this week that helped to increase the price of some grades, but the plastic recycling sector is waiting for the December transition period to begin.

Some industrial and packaging metal grades also saw prices rise.


One of the key problems across the market is getting hold of material with the current lockdown across England in particular meaning there is less commercial and industrial material around. While material from domestic sources is increasing, it isn’t yet compensating for the loss of material from businesses.

Those shipping to areas that trade in dollars were finding an unchanged exchange rate this week at $1.31, but those sending material into Europe faced a slightly stronger euro at €1.11 from €1.10 last week.

Recycled plastics

The publication of the latest monthly National Packaging Waste Database info showed that compliance for this year is virtually assured. This means that plastic packaging trading continues to be subdued and prices didn’t really change.

All eyes are on next month now when we enter the December transition period for the 2021 compliance year. PRNs and PERNs are beginning to trade for then in the mid- to high £60s and that should be enough to kickstart the dormant export market and sluggish domestic market.

As pointed out by one person in the market, many are holding on to material so they can take advantage of the December PRN or PERN. Lower value grades such as construction films are currently gate fee material, but with the certificate price added for December become net positive again.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2157-163157-163

Recycled paper

Mills, particularly in Europe, are wanting to buy OCC at the moment, but are struggling to get enough fibre especially as commercial and industrial sources have dwindled due to lockdowns.

With many merchants opting to go long at the beginning of November, they now find themselves in a situation where they can’t get out of the order prices agreed then despite rising prices.

Once these merchants come back in for December trade, it seems likely they will be pushing to take advantage of the higher prices on offer. The question will be whether the mills are prepared to pay it by then.

Other grades were stable.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades were up by £25 per tonne this week, and brass and aluminium grades increased by £50 per tonne (aluminium cans did not change though).

Ferrous grades also increased by £5 per tonne, including steel cans.

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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