Recycling prices and market commentary: 22 October 2021

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Cardboard OCC
Cardboard OCC in a bale

It was a wait and see market this week, with many materials anticipating new data or trying to work out when best to buy/sell.

Metal grades were different though, with prices surging. For plastics, it was a case of waiting for the quarterly NPWD data, while the paper market was reluctant to trade in a market that seems to be easing, or at least flat.

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Logistics continues to be a challenge, but there is some hope that curtain-sided vehicle availability into Europe might improve with the Government now allowing cabotage rights for two weeks for foreign drivers.

The pound was stronger against the dollar at $1.38 from $1.36 a week ago, while the euro was at €1.19 from €1.18 last week.

Recycled plastics

The PRN/PERN price seemed to settle at around £30 this week, which gave a bit of support to some physical trading.

However, many were also awaiting confirmation from the expected publication today of the latest NPWD quarterly data.

But with compliance looking mostly straightforward, there is an expectation that the PRN/PERN should be relatively stable in November, and the market is more likely to be about underlying conditions for the rest of the month.

Both PET bottles and LDPE film came off by £5 per tonne, but HDPE bottle prices remained stable on the back of continued good demand.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET284-290291-297
HDPE567-573559-565
LDPE 98/2337-343345-351

Recycled paper

This week might have expected a flurry of activity buying for November, but it didn’t seem to happen.

It was partly as people were waiting for a benchmark price for OCC for the month, but with prices falling recently, everyone was waiting to see who would take advantage.

Mills are waiting on the basis that they expect prices to fall further, and so can buy material more cheaply. However, some were still sticking their neck out, trying to secure material at prices above £150 per tonne. Most other trades were below this.

Mixed remained steady, as did other grades.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC138-142139-143
ONP147-151149-153
Mixed104-108105-109

Recycled metals

Prices surged this week for some grades. Copper and brass grades increased by £200 per tonne, due to positive sentiment on the LME.

Steel grades also changed for the first time in a while, rising by £10 per tonne.

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