Recycling prices and market commentary: 24 July 2020


For the plastics market, the NPWD Q2 data was eagerly awaited and its publication this week is likely to have a bearing on the market for the rest of the year. It certainly did this week.

In the paper sector, the last rights of the China market haven’t yet been read, and it is stocking up ahead of the ban that boosted OCC prices this week.


However, the metal market was relatively stable.

More on all of these below.

For those exporting to deep sea destinations, the pound strengthened against the dollar to $1.27 this week from $1.25 a week ago. The pound against the euro continued to hover around €1.11.

Recycled plastics

This week’s publication of the NPWD Q2 data raised a lot of questions with it appearing to show that targets will be comfortably met.

But those questions are about the legitimacy of the data as it just doesn’t make sense with the number of PRN/PERNs being claimed was a record quarter.

Although there has been an increase in arisings of packaging plastics during lockdown, these numbers don’t seem to add up for many in the market, and most are asking if the environment agencies will investigate why they are so high.

Bad apples are being talked about and whether they have undermined the entire market for a quick gain.

With the PRN price dropping to the low-£90s as the week went on, from £110 a week ago, prices naturally dropped too.

Both HDPE and LDPE fell, with the latter also losing a little extra due to weaker demand coming from European markets as they head into the quieter holiday season.

PET kept its price from last week, as demand remains really good for this material, especially with more people consuming drinks at home.

However, the expectation is that PRN prices will continue to come down over the next month thanks to the recent data.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

Some additional demand from China helped to keep the market up this week as buyers from there sought to fill quota before shipping lines stop taking recovered fibre.

However, it should be noted that buying volumes are not huge, but prices up to £80 per tonne for OCC were welcomed by those who had the right specification.

When combined with mills buying for August, this has kept the market hotter than might have been expected. Indeed, prices rose a touch this week as a result for OCC.

But it wouldn’t be a surprise if they start to ease off in August as Chinese buyers start to come out of the market and European mill buyers take time off.

Other grades saw no change in price.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Apart from a small increase of £25 for industrial aluminium grades, prices were stable 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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