Recycling prices and market commentary: 14 February 2020


There wasn’t too much Valentine love in the air in the recycling sector this week, with challenging conditions dominating still.

The coronavirus outbreak, when combined with Chinese New Year, has led to a shortage of shipping containers and ships to move them onto. Many boxes have been caught in Chinese ports, which also means they aren’t moving west or into other south east Asian ports.


It also meant shipping prices have risen rapidly in the last week.

For plastics, that has meant the focus continues to be on Europe, which was largely the case anyway. More on this below.

But for paper, this caused more problems for most deep sea destinations. See the paper section below for more information.

The pound was also a touch more expensive against the dollar at $1.30 from $1.29 making material a bit more expensive. Against the euro, it was even dearer at €1.20 from €1.18 last week.

Recycled plastics

The PRN/PERN price jumped up again this week, increasing by another £18 approximately on last week.

Demand for film grades continued to come from Europe with strong desire for UK material that has the PRN/PERN price support.

Elsewhere was tougher due to the difficulty in getting containers, which makes Turkey and Far Eastern destinations less attractive due to the higher shipping costs. Low value materials appeared to struggle due to this in particular.

UK buyers remain well stocked and so are topping up when they need to, and as such are not prepared to match the highest prices on offer, but offer convenience instead.

Demand for bottle grades remains weak and prices remained static despite the PRN/PERN price rise.

With the first set of monthly data showing good progress towards this year’s targets, it appears strange that the PRN/PERN price increased, but volatility is the norm at the moment in the certification market.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2432-438433-439

Recycled paper

Deep sea destinations really struggled this week due to the impact of a shortage of containers as mentioned in the introduction above.

Shipping prices have risen sharply, and in a market where conditions are already tough, this felt like a slap in the face to a beleaguered market.

OCC was moving this week to the same destinations as previously with Indonesia, China and India all buying material.

But looking beyond this week for future orders, prices were being offered £10 or more below this week’s market rate.

With European and UK mills well stocked, there isn’t capacity there to take up any slack either.

Mixed and news and pam saw no real change, while other white grades saw some falls to lower prices too.

Forecast prices

Mixed-5- -9-5- -9

Recycled metals

Prices were relatively static this week, but ferrous metals including steel cans all dropped by £5 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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