Some paper and plastic recyclate grades saw rising prices this week as global demand seems to keep rising.
Covid continues to influence the market, changing buying patterns, and requiring need for more packaging in particular. But there is also a construction boom occurring, and that is also driving demand for raw materials as was seen by the recent boom in copper prices – although that seems to be fizzling out for the time being.
For paper grades, OCC saw most demand this week, while PET bottles gained in plastics. Metal grades though tended to fall rather than rise.
The pound weakened against the dollar by Friday going down to $1.39 from $1.41 a week ago. This makes sale of material on the global market cheaper. While the euro was largely stable at €1.16 it was threatening to break €1.17.
Global demand for PET has pushed up prices in recent weeks, and bottle grades have responded. With summer in the northern hemisphere and supply constraints caused by Covid and shipping/haulage problems, companies are looking to source this raw material.
While LDPE film was generally stable, especially as the PRN/PERN price saw no change this week, there has been a small increase for jazz films as a result of increased demand for construction films as this sector is seeing much more activity.
The market is also aware of the recent increase in oil prices and expecting that any rise in virgin prices will also see a rise in secondary polymer values.
OCC was the main mover this week, adding £5 per tonne to reach £140.
Mainly, the driver behind this was a company or two, typically serving the export market, that were prepared to pay up to £150 per tonne for good quality material with arisings of cardboard low.
While many had traded long at the beginning of June, those that were still active were happy trading at a lower level.
There was also an element of people waiting for next week to trade for July as they expect they will be able to sell at higher prices for the month.
Other grades saw no movement.
Weakening demand from China saw copper grades come down by £300 per tonne meaning the price has dropped by £550 from its high a month ago.
Brass and aluminium prices also lost £100 per tonne.
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