Recycling prices and market commentary: 15 May 2020


While scrap metal traders and plastic bottle sellers will have seen price increases this week, everyone else will have seen falling or stable values.

Industrial grades of scrap copper and brass were up with other grades staying the same.


In plastics, both PET and HDPE bottles saw an increase, but film grades fell back.

For paper and cardboard, OCC dropped back.

While there isn’t much deep sea trading going on at the moment, those who sent material to the Far East will have benefited from a slightly more beneficial exchange rate. Against the dollar the pound was trading at $1.22 compared to $1.23 a week ago.

For trade into Europe, the euro/pound was slightly to the UK export advantage at €1.13 compared to a week ago.

Recycled plastics

Bottle grades saw an increase in value this week, despite a fall in the value of the PRN/PERN.

Extra demand caused by improving weather and stronger European need for these grades helped push up the price of PET bottles by £30 to £350 and HDPE bottles by £35 to £560 per tonne.

Higher value LDPE grades fell though reflecting the fall in the PRN/PERN but not by the full amount, as there was some residual demand from UK ad European buyers. Although the PRN/PERN price was down by £20 per tonne, 99/1 and 98/2 eased back by just £10 per tonne.

With some restrictions easing in UK and Europe, there is a possibility more material will come onto the market that has been held up in factories and storage facilities, but this should also lead to a bit more demand for finished product too.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2334-340336-342

Recycled paper

OCC has been a star performer in recent weeks, but the resistance from European mills pushed the price down.

For those who were able to find material, the price was down to just above £105 with many trading in a range of plus or minus £5 to £10 into UK or European mills, but lower than that elsewhere.

To put this into context though, this is still £15 above the average of £90 since we started this report in 2012.

If you have material, you can still get good prices for it.

However, there are reports of some traders trying to buy above the market rate and sell below the market rate, and hope that the PRN/PERN would fill the gap and give some profit. It wasn’t a good strategy generally.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades increased in value by £50 per tonne while brass grades were up by £100 per tonne. Everything else remained the same for scrap metal traders.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.