Recycling prices and market commentary: 26 February 2021


The paper and cardboard market saw the main price rises this week as demand for recovered fibre and lack of supply continues to push values upwards.

Plastic prices were stable as were metals.


One issue remains haulage. Clearly, the end of the Brexit transition remains a factor, but those moving anything into London have to comply with the new Direct Vision Standard by 1 March, or to have requested a grace period by this date.

This standard means that any vehicle greater than 12 tonnes gross weight needs to fit a camera to assess how a lorry driver can see hazards from their cab. It also requires applying for a permit.

Many hauliers are now in a rush to either obtain the permit, get the camera fitted or sort out any additional paperwork.

With London clearly a key destination for many hauliers around the UK or into Europe, it means vehicles are off the road, or in the case of European and UK regional drivers not yet prepared for the changes next week.

Therefore, many expect there to be some further haulage disruption in the coming weeks.

With the UK vaccination programme going well and a route map out of lockdown now revealed by the Prime Minister, the pound continued to strengthen against the dollar to $1.41 from $1.40 last week.

Against the euro it rose to €1.16 from €1.15 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

Waiting is the word most bandied about in the plastic recycling sector at the moment.

While demand remains from Europe, elsewhere is much quieter for most grades.

Partly, this has arisen from uncertainty around the most recent monthly PRN/PERN data from NPWD and what this means for the compliance market going forward. This uncertainty means there is also reluctance around physical trading, even if businesses can find markets willing to buy.

Although the PRN/PERN price was up by £10 per tonne, physical values did not respond in the same way, and remained mostly stable this week.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2228-234228-234

Recycled paper

OCC increased by £10 per tonne this week and mixed by £15 per tonne.

Mills all over the place seemed interested in buying due to the global shortage of fibre. Domestic mills seem to need material again, and European buyers are seeing an impact from lockdowns and are hungry for material.

China is snapping up fibre too, either from buying pulp from India or for its South East Asian mills.

Even the most pessimistic buyers expect that prices will continue to rise over the next couple of weeks, but are also warning that there will remain limits to what mills will be prepared to pay. Those selling are more than happy to point out that the global fibre shortage doesn’t look set to end for a little while yet, especially with a lack of supply due to lockdowns.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

There wasn’t any change for metals prices this week, with the LME settling down after recent and sharp price rises.

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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