Recycling prices and market commentary: 25 August 2023

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

There was a flurry of activity for some paper grades, and metals were up too. But plastics continued to struggle this week.

But it is generally the case that market participants are waiting for the next couple of weeks to end before they feel they can gauge what is going on once the summer holidays are over.


European markets were tough before the summer period, but there has been very little that has improved on that since.

As mentioned last week, the economic picture doesn’t look good going forward, but there is also a compelling argument that at some point, companies are going to have to buy again as they run low on stock.

The pound was trading at $1.25 this week down from $1.27 a week ago. It also dropped to €1.16 from €1.17 against the euro.

Recycled plastics

Trade remained weak with very little demand in the market, especially in Europe.

Those that were able to move material were finding that pricing offers continue to be lower for PET, HDPE, but PP in particular. LDPE was relatively stable.

There was no movement in the value of the PRN/PERN so there was no effect there.

Some are suggesting that market conditions may change once the European holiday season is over as those with low stocks will need to buy. But much will depend on the orders coming from those who want to buy recycled material and whether that market also remains subdued.

Recycled paper

Deep sea demand for OCC and mixed helped to push these grades up in value a bit this week.

India, and some South East Asian destinations, pushed into the market and were buying at higher rates than last week, but were also being selective on what they were purchasing.

While some people would have happily sold, they found themselves without orders as the buyer wasn’t interested in their material.

As a result of this, volumes being traded still remained low.

Although there is an expectation that some will trade next week for September, it is likely European buyers won’t be back until the week after. It is also possible that some of the deep sea trade bought for September this week.

Multi saw a little more interest, but this is expected to be temporary with this and other tissue grades still continuing to struggle to attract the higher prices many had got used to. De-ink grades remain stable.

Recycled metals

Copper was up by £225 per tonne, and brass by £200 per tonne. Ferrous grades, including cans, saw an increase of £10 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