Recycling prices and market commentary: 15 November 2019

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

Depressing prices for OCC and mixed paper is the key story this week in the recycling marketplace.

Both grades have dropped to very low levels this week as the market appears to have all but shut down – more on this below.


A falling plastic PRN/PERN has pushed down plastic packaging grades, while metals were relatively stable with just one metal material changing in price.

For those trading internationally, there was no change in the pound against the dollar or euro at $1.28 and €1.16 respectively.

Recycled plastics

Even though the price of the PRN/PERN fell this week to around £305 from £340 the week before, demand for plastics remains strong.

Bottle grades responded by falling at the equivalent price to the PRN/PERN. There is a nice balance between supply and demand from UK and European sellers and buyers at the moment for bottles, and this is keeping the market bouyant – aided by the still high PRN/PERN price.

With film, demand remains really good. Film prices dropped by the same £35 as the PRN/PERN price fall, but there was plenty of interest for material out there. UK buyers are continuing to try and maximise prices at a lower level, but are also having to respond to the higher prices being paid for material going into Europe.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

One market participant described the paper sector as heading towards intensive care this week.

There was little material traded with those who normally buy it not wanting it and those who have it deciding that it is too cheap to sell. They are hoping the market will turn soon, but many think OCC will be in single figures before long. What that means for mixed as a grade, who knows?

OCC was trading down below £20 per tonne for most, meaning mixed was pushed down too to a point at £10 or below.

With OCC representing the bulk of UK recovered fibre, these isn’t a lot of optimism around at the moment.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper was the only change in the metal market this week, losing last week’s £50 gain to settle back where it was the week before.

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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