Recycling prices and market commentary: 19 April 2019

Cardboard ready for recycling

Easter is often a period when more recyclable material enters the market as consumers use the time off to shop for summer clothes, for the garden or for DIY.

With warm weather forecast for the Easter weekend for much of the UK, there will be hope that more material starts to become available over the next couple of weeks.


Arisings across the board are reported to be low, and demand is weak too from end destinations on the whole. As a result, many decided to take advantage of the shorter week and take the whole week off, especially if it coincided with school holidays.

We are getting close to 200 tickets sold already for The Recycling Event – the major conference backed by nine trade associations. Make sure you are there by booking your ticket at

Confidence is low on the whole too, with many in the market feeling pessimistic about the next few months. Paper recyclers aren’t sure if demand is going to return any time soon, while those in the plastics sector are concerned about compliance and finding markets for their material. Metal recyclers at least are seeing relative price stability.

For exporters, the pound has remained consistent for three weeks now at around $1.30 and has been in a range between $1.30 to $1.32 for two months now and mostly below $1.31. This historically low pound, and the consistency of it should help exporters in normal times. But with China and much of Asia shut to plastics (Malaysia and Vietnam excepted but tougher than they were), and China taking much less paper, this advantage is not playing out. Against the euro, the pound was also stable at €1.15.

Recycled plastics

The PRN/PERN price has started to rise again, reaching £168-170 this week.

It was one area where there was a lot of trading, as buyers were keen to trade, worried that more volatility is on the way.

This rising price also helped to support packaging grades. Bottle prices stayed the same, but much more of a price increase could see the price rise backed by the PRN/PERN but also good demand in the market.

Traders of high quality 99/1 and 98/2 film into Europe also saw prices increase. UK buyers are also having to respond, although are trying to keep a lid on the prices they pay.

Demand for material remains good, but there has also been a sense of people stocking up over the fear that UK prices might rise further. Easter might also bring more supply of material though, which might also lead to supply. Which way the balance of the market will go isn’t clear at the moment, but further price rises of packaging grades seems to be most in favour.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

It was a quiet week in the recovered paper market, with many traders away.

Demand remains poor with the Chinese buyers dipping in and out of the market, and other export and domestic destinations just topping up what they need.

With more supply expected to enter the market as a result of Easter shopping, prices seem to be easing down and are expected to continue that way.

OCC lost a couple of quid this week as a result, and some are forecasting it will continue to ease lower in May. Mixed paper fell by a pound. News and pam was stable.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades lost £25 per tonne this week, while brass gained £25. Other grades, including cans, saw no 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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.