Recycling prices and market commentary: 17 April 2020

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Bales of plastic ready for recycling

OCC and mixed paper demand was strong again this week, although not everywhere, but enough to push some grades of paper recycling prices higher.

Demand is also good for plastic bottles, with other grades relatively stable.

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Trade in metals is really subdued at present, which is keeping prices stable with most scrap dealers closed or working at low capacity.

There is also a mixed picture on where materials are moving to, with some countries closed but many more still open. More on this below.

We also understand that the Environment Agency is continuing with inspections at the moment, but will also take a light touch approach to any inadvertent breaches of regulations. However, it is also reminding companies that they should not lower standards as a result.

The pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.24 this week, while against the euro it was a touch stronger at €1.15 from €1.14 last week.

Recycled plastics

Demand for bottles is good at the moment through a combination of seasonal demand and increased home purchases of alcohol, soft drinks and milk. Almost all of this is coming from UK domestic and European buyers.

Other grades including film have seen no real changes this week, especially with the PRN/PERN price increasing by a couple of quid on last week.

A low oil price has yet to affect virgin prices, but there are fears it may yet do so. However, the correlation between oil price and recycled plastic prices is weak at best as there are so many other factors that influence it.

Indian buyers of plastic are still in the market despite the shutdown there. With importers taking advantage of demurrage and detention waivers at ports there, they are stocking up for when the country comes out of lockdown.

Malaysia is also reported to be back into the market after a brief closure, but its demand is weak and prices to there are hard to justify once shipping is taken into account.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET305-311302-308
HDPE597-603598-604
LDPE 98/2370-376374-380

Recycled paper

Paper recycling prices were a really mixed picture this week depending on whether there was demand or not.

There is really good demand for OCC from German mills in particular, with other European and UK buyers strong in the market. However, other buyers in the same markets are not interested at all.

Prices over £80 have been reported for OCC, but then it can also be as low as £30 if it is going to India or some other parts of Asia. Most in the market are somewhere in the £50 to £70 range.

Shipments to South East Asia have really slowed, and there is a real lack of appetite to get inspections done by CCIC or Baltic Control when the market is so tough anyway, so little is going to China or Indonesia.

Turkey is keeping an active interest, but Europe and at home is the main focus.

Mixed is increasing in price too, and moving more freely, but OCC is the in-demand material.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC61-6559-63
ONP15-1915-19
Mixed19-2316-20

Recycled metals

Markets for metals are very sluggish at the moment, with most scrap yards closed due to the customer-facing nature of them and the fact many trades that provide metals are not working too.

This meant no price changes.

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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