The market remains focused on both the PRN/PERN price and the physical price for packaging grades.
Many of the PRN/PERN values were up again as we get closer to the start of the transition period.
But the physical market takes a lot of working out as there are so many different factors affecting trade at the moment, and different companies are making different decisions on whether to be active or not.
The pound continues to strengthen against the dollar reaching $1.21 at the time of writing, meaning it has increased from $1.12 at the start of November.
It was also stronger against the euro reaching €1.16 from €1.14 last week.
Of course, this makes UK material a little bit more expensive on the international market.
November has seen the plastic PRN/PERN gain by £50 per tonne, helping to keep up what would otherwise have been a falling market for packaging grades.
Despite reaching £450 mid-week, the PRN/PERN settled back down to around £430 by the end but was still up £20 on last week.
Although HDPE bottles saw prices rise by the same value, PET remained broadly the same with weaker demand affecting the underlying value both from UK and Europe.
With UK buyers well stocked, some interest was coming from Europe with the PERN helping to provide this. As a result, there was another £10 to be had, but the underlying value is still coming down.
There was one buyer for South East Asian mills that set the benchmark this week. With offers £5 to £10 above everybody else at the top of the market, they were securing whatever they needed it seemed. This could possibly have been because they were unable to purchase for their mills from the US due to Thanksgiving holidays, but it wasn’t exactly clear why they were so much above the market.
But other trading companies decided not to respond and when sellers were suggesting they wanted the same benchmark price, the buyers were not prepared to respond on the whole.
This meant that UK, European, Indian and Turkish orders were pretty much non-existent and not all material was able to move.
Therefore, prices this week were technically up, but only because one buyer was active at higher values.
It also makes it hard to assess where the market will be next week, and whether this one buyer will stay active at higher prices.
Copper grades dropped by £250 per tonne, and brass dropped by £100 per tonne, but everything else was stable.
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