Recycling prices and market commentary: 21 August 2020

Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling
Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling

At this time of year you might expect a largely stable recycling market, but there were a few changes this week.

In the paper sector, prices for OCC and mixed were driven higher by more demand, although the expectation is that this will reverse in September.


Metal grades saw some big jumps for copper, brass and aluminium in partiular.

Plastics was a largely stable recycling market, but packaging grades saw a small £5 per tonne increase on the back of a slightly higher PRN/PERN prices.

The pound was a little bit stronger at $1.31 this week from $1.30 a week ago. It was also a touch higher against the euro at €1.11 from €1.10 last week.

Recycled plastics

The PRN/PERN price was the main factor in the market this week. After appearing to hit the bottom last week, it increased by about £5 per tonne this week.

This had the effect of pushing up packaging grades by the same amount.

Demand remains good for HDPE in particular, with PET bottles steady.

Film grades were steady this week, but there are mixed messages coming out over the strength of the market.

Some suggest the market is just in its summer lull and demand will come from Europe once next week is out of the way and people return to work.

Others argue the market is set to be quiet for some time yet as demand from UK and Europe is unlikely to improve and underlying demand is low.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

Markets improved this week for OCC and mixed paper.

China led the way for OCC as buyers for there sought to fill quota ahead of the ban and reduction in shipping from September. Up to £100 per tonne could be achieved for there.

Other inspection destinations were not too far behind with OCC trading at up to £90 per tonne.

Elsewhere, including UK, Europe and Turkey was anywhere from £70 to £85.

Mixed was also getting interest with South East Asia driving the market. The best quality was attracting up to £30 per tonne, but most were in the £15 to £20 range.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades jumped by £150 per tonne, brass by £100 per tonne and aluminium by £150 this week.

There was no change as yet for any can grades though.

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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