Recycling prices and market commentary: 15 October 2021

LDPE film

While some metal grades shot up in value, some paper/cardboard and plastic grades saw an edging down.

For metals, it was price rises on the LME that pushed up scrap prices.


But for paper grades it was more a view that the market has reached its peak and less activity seems to be taking place. For plastic packaging, the fall in the PRN/PERN value pushed those grades lower.

As in previous weeks, logistics was a huge issue, with companies now planning many weeks in advance and crossing their fingers that the lorry or box will turn up, and then be transported to where it needs to go to. Those sending material into Europe seem to be having most issues, although it is affecting everybody.

In terms of foreign exchange, the pound was trading higher at $1.36 from a week ago against the dollar, and at at €1.18 from €1.17 last week.

Recycled plastic

Following the publication of the latest monthly NPWD data, and that looking more positive in September than August in terms of compliance, the value of the PRN/PERN dropped from close to £50 last week to around £35 this week.

It meant the market was unsure whether this was the bottom of the market, or whether it will drift lower. Nobody is quite sure, and that put the brakes on the physical market too for packaging grades.

Those that were trading, and not dealing with challenging logistics, dropped packaging prices a little bit as there is still underlying value in the material. HDPE bottles barely changed at all.

Over the coming weeks, the challenge will be to work out what the supply/demand issues will be. For example, will higher oil and gas prices turn into higher virgin polymer prices, and in turn larger secondary values? Or will the issues of sending material to recyclers lead to higher costs that negate any increase in underlying values? Will the PRN/PERN value also fall further?

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2350-356354-360

Recycled paper

It was almost all about logistics this week, with some also looking to secure trade for November.

Some are of the view that markets will come back strongly in November, but others believe the market has peaked and is gradually coming down.

Shipping costs are also expected to rise for November, which will have a cooling effect on the market if it comes to pass. With oil prices rising at the moment, shipping lines will look to push up rates as much as they can.

Both European and Asian buyers seem reluctant to commit to orders at the moment, waiting to see whether the market is going to adjust.

Next week might be telling as that is likely to be the main trading week for November tonnage.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper and brass jumped up this week on the basis that mining companies may invest in new locations. This suggested that there might be more demand for material.

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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