Recycling prices and market commentary: 18 October 2019

Cardboard recycling

Low OCC prices are becoming an increasing concern for the recycling market at present.

With the price dropping again, and the view that more falls are on the way, there isn’t a huge amount of optimism around cardboard at the moment.


The plastics markets saw some stability as participants wait for the Q3 data publication from the National Packaging Waste Database next week. However, film grades eased back a touch.

Metal grades saw price falls for copper and aluminium.

With hopes of a Brexit deal increasing, the currency markets had more confidence in the pound. Against the dollar it increased to $1.29 compared to $1.25 a week ago. While against the euro it was also up to close to €1.16 up from €1.12 last week.

Recycled plastics

With the publication of the Q3 data from the National Packaging Waste Database due on Tuesday next week, the PRN/PERN market was relatively subdued and was down just a couple of quid.

As a result, bottle grades saw no change on last week.

With the pound strengthening against the euro and the dollar, this had an effect on film grades making them more expensive into Europe and deep sea destinations, and stifling demand a touch. As a result, both fell.

Other news this week was the huge amount of plastics sent to Malaysia in August, according to the latest HMRC data.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2519-525519-522

Recycled paper

OCC is truly in the doldrums at the moment. Despite another 400,000 tonnes of Chinese quota being released, this wasn’t enough to halt more of a slide.

With the price now firmly in the £40s, this is a worrying time for the paper market with little hope that things will get better any time soon.

UK and European mills appear to be full or buying little, while Chinese buyers are sending final orders for 2019 so that it arrives before the 2020 quota period kicks in. Some material is still going to India at low prices.

The price also wasn’t helped by a rapidly strengthening pound that added further cost to UK material.

There are also reports that shipping rates are likely to increase for November, which will also add more downward pressure on the price.

No changes were seen for other paper grades.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper dropped by £100 and aluminium by £50 from a combination of a stronger FX situation and a falling LME that fears a weakening Chinese economy will hit demand.

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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