Recycling prices and market commentary: 23 August 2019


Yet again, the plastic PRN/PERN price was the main outstanding event of the week in the recycling industry.

With the price rising by £50 to £70 on last week, this also had the effect of pushing up the price of packaging grades (see below for more information).


Recycled paper grades were relatively stable, with the exception of OCC, which dropped by £2 per tonne. Potentially, there are more price falls on the way (see below for more information).

Copper dropped by £100 per tonne, and was the only price adjustment in the recycled metal market this week.

With hope that a deal might be found between the UK and EU for Brexit, the pound strengthened a touch to $1.22 from last week’s $1.21 and €1.10 from €1.09 a week ago.

This made UK material a little more expensive to export destinations.

Recycled plastics

As mentioned above, the PRN/PERN price increased to between £400 and £420 per tonne this week.

However, this also had the effect of stopping trading of the certificates as many thought this was the current ceiling.

The effect of this increase was to push up the price of packaging grades. Bottles both saw their price up by £40 per tonne.

Higher quality LDPE responded to the PRN/PERN price strongly, gaining another £55. While some European buyers were paying beyond £600 for 98/2, there was still a bit of resistance to give the whole PRN away with UK buyers.

However, some of those buying in the UK also got back from holiday to find empty yards and realised they needed to re-stock. As a result, they were prepared to match European prices.

It remains the case that UK buyers are keen to see a more stable market as we head into September, as they really do not like the volatility seen by LDPE at present.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2603-609580-586

Recycled paper

It remained a quiet week for recovered paper, with no change for most grades.

Many traders were on holiday, hoping they would come back to a more dynamic market in September. Indeed, there is plenty of chatter in the market that things will improve in September, and there are some indications this might be the case from the middle of the month onwards.

OCC dropped by £2 per tonne. A couple of the big Chinese buyers eased back on purchases and prices as the mills don’t need the material. Indeed, with Japan to China prices falling by $15, they are keen to buy this cheap and high quality recovered fibre.

Other destinations are also seeing less demand. Some orders to India were being quoted at less than £50 per tonne.

With Indonesia appearing to have decided on its new rules for imports, this may allow a bit more flow of material over the coming weeks.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper was the only faller this week. This was in response to a drop on the LME over fears that the trade war between US and China will intensify. As a result, copper dropped by £100 per tonne.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.