Recycling prices and market commentary: 14 May 2021

Cardboard OCC
Cardboard OCC in a bale

There wasn’t a definitive pattern to the market this week with some materials falling, some not moving at all and some soaring.

Metal grades were the ones soaring with both non-ferrous and ferrous up.


Packaging paper grades though are on the way down and dropped again this week, while plastics remained stable.

While metal markets continue to be hot, the feeling in the plastics and paper markets are that they are lukewarm to cooling.

In foreign exchange markets the pound was up again this week to $1.40 against the dollar, which is actually its average value since we began collecting this data in 2013. It was April 2018 when it was last this high.

The euro was also stronger at €1.16 from €1.15 a week ago.

Recycled plastic

It was a quiet week on the market with only a small increase of the PRN/PERN by about £5 per tonne. This wasn’t enough to trouble physical packaging prices that remained the same.

There has been anticipation in the market for a number of weeks that underlying prices will come down, especially as European demand appears to be easing.

This hasn’t yet come to pass, but if people are expecting the price to come down, unless something fundamental changes in the market, it is likely prices will ease. At best, they may remain stable for a few weeks yet.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2339-345339-345

Recycled paper

The price of packaging grades dropped this week, with OCC dropping most.

With European interest waning and the Indian Covid situation weighing heavily on the market, it remained quiet with buyers not really wanting to commit in a falling market.

Mixed didn’t fall as dramatically, as those who needed material seemed to want the cheaper grade, but this just meant the spread between it and OCC narrowed.

After recent increases, tissue grades saw £5 also come off.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Metal grades continue to rise with copper seeing an increase of £125 per tonne this week. Brass was also up with a £150 increase. Aluminium grades at the top end were up by over £300, although not all.

Ferrous grades, including cans, increased by £10.

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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