Recycling prices and market commentary: 17 November 2023

LDPE film

Underlying prices were mostly stable this week, but last week’s fall in the value of the PRN/PERN hit plastics markets once again.

As reported in previous weeks, markets remain challenging and many are therefore trading on a monthly basis and doing what they can in-between.


Global markets for recyclate are seeing such low demand that not even low supply is making a difference. Until we start to see improving economic activity around the world, and it isn’t clear when that will be, appetite for recyclable materials looks set to be in this pattern for a while.

What is known though by those who have been around long enough, is that markets always come back, and they will again at some point.

The pound was trading at $1.24 this week up two cents on a week ago. It remained unchanged compared to the euro at €1.14.

Recycled plastics

Last week’s drop in the value of the PRN/PERN continued into this week and prices for packaging grades followed suit.

Underlying prices remain quite static, but it was also a reflection that there wasn’t a huge amount of people wanting to buy.

European and Asian markets don’t appear to have much interest at the moment and the fall in the PRN/PERN value that occurred in late October has made it even harder to trade.

For the rest of the year at least, the expectation is that market conditions will be tough. For packaging grades at least, much will depend on which way the PRN/PERN will head and what support it will give.

Recycled paper

Prices were largely stable this week with very little activity occurring in the market.

All eyes are now on what December trading will bring and whether there will be a flurry to get containerised material on the water before the usual Christmas slowdown, or if that won’t happen this year due to low demand.

There has been a small increase in the value of the PRN/PERN in recent weeks, but it hasn’t been enough to make a huge difference to market conditions. It could be argued though that it has helped OCC to stay where it is in price this week at least.

Recycled metals

Ferrous grades including cans were up by £10 per tonne this week, and brass saw a £50 gain. Other grades saw no change.

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