With some prices rising this week for some grades, is this a sign that a market that has been on the slide is on the up?
It is hard to tell as yet whether this change has legs, but it was definitely the case that the market woke up for some plastics and a couple of paper grades.
After months of challenging markets, these tentative green shoots were welcomed by those who hope for a more optimistic mood to trading. But there are also those who think this could be temporary and dark clouds are still hanging around.
Where there has been interest has tended to come from deep sea markets rather than domestic and European, but those who had material to sell were glad that they could achieve a little more for it this week.
The pound was trading at $1.23 from $1.25 a week ago, and €1.16 which was no change on a week ago.
A number of plastics grades saw decent uplifts in price this week, mainly due to interest from deep sea markets that were reflecting recent uplifts in the value of virgin polymers.
Even though the price of the PRN/PERN came down, this was not enough to stop the price increases that were being seen.
LDPE film in particular was getting snapped up by those prepared to deal with the pre-notification paperwork or European exporters who then traded it onto Asia. UK and European buyers were not matching this though and were trying to keep a lid on things.
PP was also seeing good interest and saw a good price increase, helped by increases in the price of virgin in particular.
Although not reacting quite so much, PET and HDPE bottles were also up a bit.
One deep sea buyer was paying very strong prices for OCC this week, while a couple of others responded a little lower.
This helped push up the overall price, but most were still getting deals done at the prices that had been paid last week.
With most having done their trading for September already, volumes of material switching hands seemed to be low.
However, most are beginning to anticipate what October may bring and wondering whether the interest seen this week will be the start of something or just a brief flash of stronger prices. It also remains to be seen whether there will be any changes in arisings as people returned to work following summer breaks.
Newsprint grades have weakened a bit this week.
Copper and brass both gained in value this week, but other grades saw no change.
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