Recycling prices and market commentary: 20 July 2018

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Recycling market
Baled

The news for the recycling market this week has been dominated by the draft law published by the Chinese Government showing that it intends to ban imports of solid waste.

While recycled plastics are already banned for export to China, along with mixed papers, this is likely to mean around 3 million tonnes of other paper grades are going to struggle to find a home.

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There will also be 400,000 tonnes of scrap metal that currently goes to China that will no longer be recycled there.

Prior to this week, people were crossing their fingers that China wouldn’t go through with a ban even though it had previously outlined its intentions, but the atmosphere this week is an acceptance that it will happen.

The only question now is when. Will it be before the end of 2019 or will it be before the end of 2020? Clearly, the market is hoping it will be the latter. But it should also be clear that before the end doesn’t mean at the end. China promised to restrict the number of ports that recycled material could be shipped to before the end of 2018, and this was introduced just this month.

Any implications of this ban are yet to be felt in the market, but new destinations are going to have to be found. The fact Nine Dragons bought mills in the US, Lee & Man is looking at opening a mill in Myanmar and Cycle Link has bought Dutch firm WPT suggests that the Chinese companies are now looking to invest globally rather than focus just on China.

The problem might be for the paper sector in particular, that new mills take time to build and any investment in new mills now, is unlikely to lead to operational capacity before the China ban takes place.

Are we likely to see China struggling to get finished boxes in the coming years? Probably.

This week also saw Vietnam announce a new 100% inspection regime. While it will inevitably be tougher to send material there, it does appear that the country is willing to take recycled paper and plastics on the basis that its growing manufacturing sector requires these raw materials. But it won’t ever have the volume to replace China, and it is likely to only want to take the best quality material now.

However, Vietnam hasn’t shut off imports like Thailand has.

These are going to be trying times for the recycling sector, but in the short-term, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see aggressive purchasing to stockpile material before the Chinese ban and tougher inspection regimes elsewhere comes in. Of course, quality will be key.

Just to add to the complexity, China has responded to the US implementation of tariffs by devaluing the yuan with the possibility of a currency war now on the horizon too. The idea of the lowering of the yuan is to make Chinese exports cheaper, counteracting the effect of the new tariffs.

But US President Donald Trump is also reported to want to lower the value of the dollar to make US exports cheaper too. This could get messy, and could lead to a stronger pound, which would hurt exporters.

At the moment though, the pound is weakening, which has helped to make UK material cheaper on the market. At the time of writing, it was trading at $1.30, compared to $1.31 a week ago. Just three months ago, the pound was above $1.40, so UK exporters trading in dollars have seen a price advantage in recent months.

The pound has also slumped against the euro this week, from €1.13 a week ago to below €1.12 at the time of writing, as Brexit fears hit home this week.

Recycled plastic

Prices were unchanged again this week in the plastic recycling market.

However, it remains the case that most parts of Asia are closed to exports at the moment, and nobody is taking the risk to put material on the water.

Shipping lines don’t want to send plastics to Asian destinations for fear that the containers will be rejected on arrival, or new regulations will be introduced on the water.

While finding reliable outlets in Asian countries is increasingly hard anyway. Even when they are found, they tend to come in and out of the market at will.

There is a growing view that the Asian recycling market for plastics is dying. Is that the case? It does increasingly feel that way.

Recycled paper

Prices remained unchanged this week, but as mentioned above, the paper recycling market has been gripped by panic over the China situation.

There remains uncertainty too whether CCIC’s inspection regime is sufficient to meet Chinese regulations, but at the moment, very good quality material is still in demand from two of the main buyers and is being shipped.

It is still too early to see whether Chinese buyers will look to stockpile material ahead of the ban, but the difficultly will be in getting enough material of sufficient quality for this to happen.

In terms of OCC prices, there continues to be a premium paid for Chinese specification OCC and some sellers have been able to negotiate an additional couple of quid on top of this during the week as a result. This is only a small part of the market, and didn’t affect the overall price however.

Indeed, at the bottom of the market, to India in particular, the expectation is the market will come off further and below £80 might be offered.

August is traditionally a quieter month for paper recycling, with Europe effectively closed as everyone is on holiday, while Chinese exports are normally lower before picking up throughout Autumn.

Nobody is sure what will happen this year as they still digest all the developments, but the expectation is that August will again be quiet as the market gets to grips with what is going on.

Demand for mixed paper has been good from Europe in recent weeks, but even this is expected to ease in August.

Recycled metal

Copper grades fell back again on the back of tariff fears between US and China. Aluminium though gained £50 per tonne.

Otherwise, metal markets were stable.

Recycling Prices

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UK plastic bottles

wdt_ID UK £ Mixed bottles A Mixed bottles B PET HDPE Natural 95/5
1 16/02/2018 50-100 -10-30 160 360
2 09/02/2018 50-100 -10-30 160 360
3 02/02/2018 50-100 -10-30 160 360
4 26/01/2018 60-110 0-30 170 380
5 19/01/2018 60-110 0-30 170 380
6 12/01/2018 60-110 0-30 170 380
7 05/01/2018 60-110 0-30 170 380
8 15/12/2017 60-110 0-30 170 390
9 08/12/2017 60-110 0-30 170 390
10 01/12/2017 60-110 0-30 170 390

UK HDPE, Wheelie Bins, HIPS, EPS, PP

wdt_ID UK £ HDPE Regrind Wheelie Bins HIPS Regrind EPS PP Regrind
1 16/02/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
2 09/02/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
3 02/02/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
4 26/01/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
5 19/01/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
6 12/01/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
7 05/01/2018 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
8 15/12/2017 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
9 08/12/2017 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510
10 01/12/2017 470-490 270-300 300-350 400-450 470-510

UK LDPE film

wdt_ID UK £ LDPE 99/1 LDPE 98/2 LDPE 95/5 LDPE 90/10 Jazz Film
1 16/02/2018 200-270 170 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
2 09/02/2018 200-270 170 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
3 02/02/2018 200-270 170 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
4 26/01/2018 240-290 190 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
5 19/01/2018 240-290 190 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
6 12/01/2018 240-290 190 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
7 05/01/2018 240-290 190 60-100 0-40 -70-(-30)
8 15/12/2017 250-300 200 70-110 10-50 -70-(-30)
9 08/12/2017 250-300 200 70-110 10-50 -70-(-30)
10 01/12/2017 275-315 225 70-110 10-50 -70-(-30)

UK pots, tubs, trays

wdt_ID UK £ Mixed carrier bags Mixed hard plastics Mixed plastic trays
1 16/02/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
2 09/02/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
3 02/02/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
4 26/01/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
5 19/01/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
6 12/01/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
7 05/01/2018 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
8 15/12/2017 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
9 08/12/2017 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)
10 01/12/2017 -70-(-30) -70-(-30) -55-(-65)

UK OCC, ONP, Mixed paper

wdt_ID UK £ OCC ONP Mixed paper
1 16/02/2018 65 87 10
2 09/02/2018 62 87 10
3 02/02/2018 68 87 12
4 26/01/2018 87 95 37
5 19/01/2018 97 97 45
6 12/01/2018 105 97 55
7 05/01/2018 110 100 62
8 15/12/2017 110 100 62
9 08/12/2017 117 100 62
10 01/12/2017 142 100 62

UK soft mixed, OIN, SOW

wdt_ID UK £ Soft mixed OI news SOW
1 16/02/2018 0-20 120-130 165-175
2 09/02/2018 0-20 120-130 165-175
3 02/02/2018 0-20 120-130 165-175
4 26/01/2018 25-35 120-130 165-175
5 19/01/2018 30-40 120-130 165-175
6 12/01/2018 35-45 120-130 165-175
7 05/01/2018 35-45 120-130 165-175
8 15/12/2017 35-45 120-130 165-175
9 08/12/2017 35-45 120-130 165-175
10 01/12/2017 35-45 120-130 165-175

UK Multi, WHL, BW2

wdt_ID UK £ Multi grade WHL BW2
1 16/02/2018 150-170 238-244 280-290
2 09/02/2018 150-170 238-244 280-290
3 02/02/2018 150-170 238-244 280-290
4 26/01/2018 155-170 238-244 280-290
5 19/01/2018 155-170 238-244 280-290
6 12/01/2018 155-170 238-244 280-290
7 05/01/2018 155-170 238-244 280-290
8 15/12/2017 155-170 238-244 280-290
9 08/12/2017 155-170 238-244 280-290
10 01/12/2017 160-175 238-244 280-290

UK copper

wdt_ID UK £ Copper Dry bright wire New tube Braziery Clean Pyro
1 16/02/2018 4,300 4250-4350 4175-4275 3350-3450 1700-1800
2 09/02/2018 4,300 4250-4350 4175-4275 3350-3450 1700-1800
3 02/02/2018 4,400 4350-4450 4275-4375 3450-3550 1800-1900
4 26/01/2018 4,400 4350-4450 4275-4375 3450-3550 1800-1900
5 19/01/2018 4,400 4350-4450 4275-4375 3450-3550 1800-1900
6 12/01/2018 4,600 4550-4650 4475-4575 3650-3750 2000-2100
7 05/01/2018 4,600 4550-4650 4475-4575 3650-3750 2000-2100
8 15/12/2017 4,200 4150-4250 4075-4175 3250-3350 1600-1700
9 08/12/2017 4,200 4150-4250 4075-4175 3250-3350 1600-1700
10 01/12/2017 4,200 4150-4250 4075-4175 3250-3350 1600-1700

UK brass

wdt_ID UK £ Brass (Honey) Mixed brass Rod swarf Brass/copper rads
1 16/02/2018 2,700 2650-2750 2475-2575 2400-2500
2 09/02/2018 2,700 2650-2750 2475-2575 2400-2500
3 02/02/2018 2,700 2650-2750 2475-2575 2400-2500
4 26/01/2018 2,800 2750-2850 2575-2675 2500-2600
5 19/01/2018 2,800 2750-2850 2575-2675 2500-2600
6 12/01/2018 2,800 2750-2850 2575-2675 2500-2600
7 05/01/2018 2,900 2850-2950 2675-2725 2600-2700
8 15/12/2017 2,650 2600-2700 2425-2525 2350-2450
9 08/12/2017 2,650 2600-2700 2425-2525 2350-2450
10 01/12/2017 2,650 2600-2700 2425-2525 2350-2450

UK aluminium alloys

wdt_ID UK £ Taint/Tabor Alum Bronze solids Low grade cable Household cable
1 16/02/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
2 09/02/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
3 02/02/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
4 26/01/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
5 19/01/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
6 12/01/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
7 05/01/2018 1,350 2050-2150 525-575 1050-1150
8 15/12/2017 1,300 2000-2100 475-525 1000-1100
9 08/12/2017 1,300 2000-2100 475-525 1000-1100
10 01/12/2017 1,400 2100-2200 575-625 1100-1200

UK aluminum

wdt_ID UK £ Clean HE9 Clean alu wheels Cast alu Old rolled alu
1 16/02/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
2 09/02/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
3 02/02/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
4 26/01/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
5 19/01/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
6 12/01/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
7 05/01/2018 800-900 1000-1050 700-750 475-525
8 15/12/2017 750-850 950-1000 650-700 425-525
9 08/12/2017 750-850 950-1000 650-700 425-525
10 01/12/2017 850-950 1025-1125 750-800 525-575

UK stainless steel, zinc, lead

wdt_ID UK £ 18/8 stainless 316 stainless Zinc Lead Lead batteries
1 16/02/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
2 09/02/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
3 02/02/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
4 26/01/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
5 19/01/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
6 12/01/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
7 05/01/2018 725-775 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
8 15/12/2017 675-725 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
9 08/12/2017 675-725 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675
10 01/12/2017 675-725 975-1025 800-900 1400-1500 625-675

UK ferrous

wdt_ID UK £ HMS 1 Light iron O/S shearing O/S construction Mixed iron
1 16/02/2018 180 135-175 145-185 130-170 150-190
2 09/02/2018 180 135-175 145-185 130-170 150-190
3 02/02/2018 180 135-175 145-185 130-170 150-190
4 26/01/2018 180 135-175 145-185 130-170 150-190
5 19/01/2018 190 145-185 155-195 140-180 160-200
6 12/01/2018 200 155-195 165-205 150-190 170-210
7 05/01/2018 200 155-195 165-205 150-190 170-210
8 15/12/2017 195 150-190 160-200 145-185 165-205
9 08/12/2017 195 150-190 160-200 145-185 165-205
10 01/12/2017 175 130-170 140-180 125-165 145-185

UK engines, cans, plugs

wdt_ID UK £ EOLV Steel UBC Aluminium UBCs Plugs and chargers
1 16/02/2018 95-135 120-160 1000-1100 110-130
2 09/02/2018 95-135 120-160 1000-1100 110-130
3 02/02/2018 95-135 120-160 1000-1100 110-130
4 26/01/2018 95-135 120-160 1050-1150 110-130
5 19/01/2018 105-145 130-170 1050-1150 110-130
6 12/01/2018 115-155 140-180 1050-1150 110-130
7 05/01/2018 115-155 140-180 1050-1150 110-130
8 15/12/2017 110-150 135-175 1000-1150 110-130
9 08/12/2017 110-150 135-175 1000-1150 110-130
10 01/12/2017 90-130 115-155 1000-1150 110-130

UK glass

wdt_ID UK £ Clear Amber Green Mixed
1 16/02/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
2 09/02/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
3 02/02/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
4 26/01/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
5 19/01/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
6 12/01/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
7 05/01/2018 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
8 15/12/2017 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
9 08/12/2017 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8
10 01/12/2017 18-28 14-20 9-13 2-8

PRN paper, plastic, glass

wdt_ID UK £ Paper Plastic Glass Remelt Glass Other
1 16/02/2018 1.80-2.20 56-58 11-12 10.50-11.50
2 09/02/2018 1.25-1.75 56-58 10.50-11.50 10-11
3 02/02/2018 1.25-1.75 56-58 10.50-11.50 10-11
4 26/01/2018 1.50-2.00 54-56 10.50-11.50 9.50-11
5 19/01/2018 1.50-2.00 52-56 10-12 9-11
6 12/01/2018 1.50-2.00 50-54 10-12 9-11
7 05/01/2018 1.25-1.75 51-55 9.50-11.50 9-11
8 15/12/2017 1.25-1.75 48-52 9.50-11.50 8.50-10.50
9 08/12/2017 1.50-2.00 39-43 9-11 9-11
10 01/12/2017 1.65-2.15 29-33 9-11 9-11

PRNs wood, steel, alu, recovery

wdt_ID UK £ Wood Steel Aluminium Recovery
1 16/02/2018 8-9 4-6 20-24 0.4-0.5
2 09/02/2018 7.25-8.25 4-6 20-24 0.4-0.5
3 02/02/2018 7.25-8.25 4-6 20-24 0.4-0.5
4 26/01/2018 5-6 4-6 33-37 0.4-0.5
5 19/01/2018 4.50-5.50 5-7 33-37 0.4-0.5
6 12/01/2018 4.50-5.50 5-7 33-37 0.4-0.5
7 05/01/2018 4.50-5.50 4.50-5.50 33-37 0.4-0.5
8 15/12/2017 4.50-5.50 1-2 14-16 0.4-0.5
9 08/12/2017 4-5 1-2 14-16 0.4-0.5
10 01/12/2017 1.75-2.25 1-3 4-6 0.4-0.5

UK gate fees, RDF, landfill

wdt_ID UK £ RDF - UK Landfill Tax Landfill Gate fee
1 16/02/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
2 09/02/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
3 02/02/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
4 26/01/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
5 19/01/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
6 12/01/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
7 05/01/2018 65-85 86.10 10-20
8 15/12/2017 65-85 86.10 10-20
9 08/12/2017 65-85 86.10 10-20
10 01/12/2017 65-85 86.10 10-20

UK Gate Fees - EFW, AD, MRF

wdt_ID UK £ Energy from Waste Anaerobic digestion MRF
1 16/02/2018 60-90 60-90 60-90
2 09/02/2018 25-35 25-35 25-35
3 02/02/2018 0-30 0-30 0-30
4 26/01/2018 60-90 25-35 0-30
5 19/01/2018 60-90 25-35 0-30
6 12/01/2018 60-90 25-35 0-30
7 05/01/2018 60-90 25-35 0-30
8 15/12/2017 60-90 25-35 0-30
9 08/12/2017 60-90 25-35 0-30
10 01/12/2017 60-90 25-35 0-30

China plastics

wdt_ID USD $ PET flake PET bottle HDPE Natural LDPE 98/2
1 16/02/2018 821 486 874 544
2 09/02/2018 821 486 874 544
3 02/02/2018 760 486 772 538
4 26/01/2018 760 486 772 538
5 19/01/2018 760 486 772 538
6 12/01/2018 760 486 772 538
7 05/01/2018 760 486 772 538
8 15/12/2017 696 403 760 684
9 08/12/2017 785 570 798 630
10 01/12/2017 785 570 798 630

China paper

wdt_ID USD $ OCC ONP Mixed
1 16/02/2018 230 257 149
2 09/02/2018 230 257 149
3 02/02/2018 235 240 155
4 26/01/2018 235 240 155
5 19/01/2018 235 240 155
6 12/01/2018 235 240 155
7 05/01/2018 235 240 155
8 15/12/2017 250 262 151
9 08/12/2017 255 262 159
10 01/12/2017 255 262 159

China metals

wdt_ID USD $ Copper Wire Brass (Honey) Taint/Tabor HMS 1
1 16/02/2018 6,175 4,650 1,285 144
2 09/02/2018 6,175 4,650 1,285 144
3 02/02/2018 6,135 4,635 1,595 153
4 26/01/2018 6,135 4,635 1,595 153
5 19/01/2018 6,135 4,635 1,595 153
6 12/01/2018 6,135 4,635 1,595 153
7 05/01/2018 6,135 4,635 1,595 153
8 15/12/2017 6,205 5,230 1,390 155
9 08/12/2017 6,190 5,210 1,440 130
10 01/12/2017 6,190 5,210 1,440 130

US plastics

wdt_ID USD $ PET bottles HDPE Natural LDPE Grade A
1 16/02/2018 450 585 350
2 09/02/2018 450 585 350
3 02/02/2018 450 585 350
4 26/01/2018 450 585 350
5 19/01/2018 450 585 350
6 12/01/2018 450 585 350
7 05/01/2018 450 585 350
8 15/12/2017 400 585 350
9 08/12/2017 400 585 350
10 01/12/2017 460 585 350

US paper

wdt_ID USD $ OCC ONP Mixed
1 16/02/2018 110 80 40
2 09/02/2018 110 80 40
3 02/02/2018 110 80 40
4 26/01/2018 110 80 40
5 19/01/2018 120 80 60
6 12/01/2018 120 80 60
7 05/01/2018 120 80 60
8 15/12/2017 120 80 60
9 08/12/2017 120 80 60
10 01/12/2017 120 80 60

US metals

wdt_ID USD $ Copper Wire Brass (Honey) Taint/Tabor HMS 1
1 16/02/2018 5,950 3,636 2,512 320
2 09/02/2018 5,950 3,636 2,512 320
3 02/02/2018 6,061 3,636 2,512 320
4 26/01/2018 6,061 3,636 2,512 320
5 19/01/2018 6,237 3,592 2,512 265
6 12/01/2018 6,237 3,592 2,512 265
7 05/01/2018 6,170 2,975 2,468 265
8 15/12/2017 5,906 3,416 2,424 265
9 08/12/2017 5,775 2,909 2,424 265
10 01/12/2017 5,884 3,415 2,468 295

 

 

 

 

 

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