Recycling prices and market commentary: 21 January 2022

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

Some paper grades increased in values this week, some plastic grades fell and metals were stable.

For many, this felt like the first week of proper trading following Christmas, where they knew what was going on in the market.


On top of the difficulties getting haulage into European neighbours, container availability seems to be constrained too for the rest of the world.

Those exporting to countries where they trade in the dollar saw the pound drop to $1.35 from $1.37 a week ago. Against the euro, the pound got stronger to €1.21 from €1.20 last week.

Recycled plastic

With the PRN/PERN price falling from £90 to £75 by the end of the week, there was a view that this is starting to give an indication of where prices are settling for 2022 so far.

This brought down bottle grades by around £10 per tonne with underlying strong prices ensuring they didn’t fall by the full amount.

Film has good demand from UK and European buyers it seems, but elsewhere was less interested. With prices high at the moment, Vietnamese and Malaysian buyers seem to wanted lower value grades such as 95/5 and 90/10 and sorting it themselves.

PP has strong demand still and prices were up by another £25 per tonne.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2443-449438-444

Recycled paper

While mills appeared to be telling sellers that they were well stocked, somehow paper grades increased in value this week.

Both OCC and mixed were up by about £5 per tonne, while Multi and SOW were up by the same amount.

Demand seems to be coming from Asian destinations in particular with some buyers setting benchmark prices that the rest of the market had to follow.

Some of these buyers seem concerned by container availability and want to get material on the water while they can, especially if that situation gets worse following the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.

Prices seem to be a bit rich for European buyers at the moment though, and they tended to sit on their hands. However, some believe they will come back in soon if the market keeps rising for fear of being left out.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

There was no change for any metal grades this week.

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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