Recycling prices and market commentary: 22 April 2022

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

The publication of the Q1 data from the National Packaging Waste Database could set the tone for pricing in the coming months.

Today’s data, while subject to revision when everybody has submitted their returns, suggested that some materials have had a poor first quarter. Depending on what the obligation ends up being, this could mean changing PRN/PERN prices over the coming years. Of course, this could then have an impact on physical prices.

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At the time of writing, there hadn’t been any major changes in PRN/PERN prices, but it could be a different picture next week. Plastics and glass remelt in particular could see a big impact on physical pricing if the PRN/PERN price moves.

Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet week on the market with the impact of Easter still being felt, and many people still on holiday.

Good demand saw some plastics grades rise, but paper and metals didn’t see too much difference.

The pound dropped against the dollar to $1.28 at the time of writing from $1.31 last week. But the euro was unchanged at $1.20.

Recycled plastics

Good demand saw packaging grades increase this week, also helped by a £5 per tonne increase of the PRN/PERN price. HDPE bottles in particular seem stronger, with demand for this grade very good at present.

However, the markets were also a little quieter, especially into Europe for PET and LDPE film with Easter breaks still having an impact, plus the shorter week generally seen across the Continent and here in the UK.

Although there were still quite a few companies yet to file their NPWD quarterly returns, there will be many looking with interest at the plastic data over the next few hours and days to see if the first quarter was as poor as the first tranche of data suggests. When the late filers have submitted their returns, this could have a strong impact on the PRN/PERN price, and may then lead to changes in the physical market.

Next week could end up being quite volatile as a result, especially if people return to the market after taking time off.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET605-611607-613
HDPE894-900903-909
LDPE 98/2595-601604-610

Recycled paper

It remained a relatively quiet week with stable prices and not a huge amount of trade taking place. Most of the activity was around the logistics of moving material, and preparing for trading for May. Most expect that next week will be busier as buyers look ahead to the next month.

Much will depend on how active UK and European buyers are next week, and whether they wait to see what competitors have been up to before deciding on their approach.

There was some good activity this week from buyers for Vietnam though who need to get material on the water before import permits expire at the end of July.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC145-149145-149
ONP148-152148-152
Mixed116-120116-120

Recycled metals

Copper grades increased by £50 per tonne, but aluminium grades fell by the same amount.

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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