Recycling prices and market commentary: 19 November 2021

LDPE film

The plastic market was all about PRN/PERNs again this week, while paper grades were all about what December will bring.

Some industrial metal grades also saw a decline.


The rising prices and uncertainty about what is going on with cancelled PRN/PERNs created uncertainty in the plastics market.

Only OCC came down this week in the paper market, but the underlying feeling is that something more may have to give in December.

Both copper and brass dropped in the metals market.

Haulage, while still tricky, appears to have eased a little, but many in the industry are still taking up most of their time with logistics.

Against the dollar, the pound was a little stronger at $1.34 from $1.33 a week ago. But against the euro it has really strengthened to €1.19 from €1.17 last week.

Recycled plastics

As mentioned above, it remained the PRN/PERN uncertainty that dominated the market this week.

Rumours that companies that have had their PRN/PERNs cancelled are in the market trying to snap up replacements is pushing the price higher. It reached £90 this week and is forecast by many to go higher from December for 2022. This is because the carry-in for 2022 is now expected to be lower.

But there are rumours that more PRN/PERNs could be cancelled, and this makes it a potentially volatile market at present.

Underlying prices seem to be either holding where they are, or in some cases starting to drop off. It is certainly the case that US prices are dropping, but UK values are being maintained by the PRN/PERN subsidy and still good demand from Europe.

Realistically, this looks set to remain an unsettled market for the rest of the year at least.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2400-406398-404

Recycled paper

The market seems to have given up on November with most trading now appearing to be done.

Instead, the focus appears to be on December and dealing with the logistical challenge of a Saturday Christmas Day. Of course, this is on top of the other haulage and shipping issues being faced at the moment.

Asian mills believe the price needs to come down, and are pushing for that to happen. They are largely succeeding for the OCC being traded at the moment, but it is only by small amount at the moment. This is because they are still facing resistance and some competition from European buyers.

A more beneficial exchange rate and slightly better shipping rates is helping to support the price a little too.

Mixed and news & pam are a little different, where European demand is winning out.

There is a view that UK and European demand for most paper grades will remain strong for the first couple of weeks of December, while they try to snap up as much material as possible ahead of the disrupted collections (and poorer quality) that Christmas brings.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Falling prices on the LME pushed down copper prices by £200 per tonne, and brass by £100 per tonne. All other grades were stable.

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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