Recycling prices and market commentary: 14 August 2020

Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling
Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling

There was some heat in the paper/cardboard sector, and some fears about the plastic PRN/PERN for those trading plastic packaging this week.

In the paper sector, arisings were hard to come by, but there was still good demand for those that had material.


The plastic PRN/PERN price came down again this week, hitting legitimate plastics recyclers in the pocket.

Both copper and brass came off in metals.

With it being August, trade has naturally slowed across the board those as people take time off to enjoy the better weather or head abroad if they can.

The pound was only down a touch against the dollar to $1.30 from $1.31 a week ago. Against the euro it was the same as last week at €1.10 although it did rise above €1.11 midweek.

Recycled plastics

With the plastic PRN/PERN coming down by £15 per tonne, it was another tough week for the plastic packaging recycling sector.

A price of just above £30 for the PRN/PERN doesn’t offer enough support when pitted against underlying low prices for bottles and film that are also competing against virgin material.

Trade in both physical material and the certification is weak at the moment, with the market so uncertain.

Bottle grades still have some demand, but not enough to protect them from the PRN/PERN price fall.

Film grades are finding it very tough at the moment with no real extra demand coming from UK, European or deep sea sources and the market is ticking over at best.

The expectation is that the rest of the month is going to be tough and nobody is quite sure what the rest of the year will bring once summer is out of the way.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2155-161159-165

Recycled paper

Prices were on the rise for those who had paper/cardboard to sell this week, although there were not that many that had material available.

For those in a position to sell, China and Indonesia continued to pay the most getting on for some up to £90 with anywhere above £80 more likely for OCC.

Non-inspection destinations were led by India at around the £80 mark, with Turkey, UK and Europe all a bit below that.

Higher prices for OCC have also seen more interest for mixed, with the best quality commercial material able to attract more than £20. Lesser quality material is seeing some demand and can be anywhere between £0 and £15 depending on how good it is.

With it rapidly approaching 1 September when some major shipping lines will stop sending material to China, there is a great deal of uncertainty around what the market will look like beyond then.

For the time being, the August heat is not just about the weather but the paper/cardboard market too.

News & pam60-6458-62

Recycled metals

Copper and brass continued to weaken as global demand fell. Both dropped by £50 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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