Recycling prices and market commentary: 26 July 2019

Cardboard OCC
Cardboard OCC in a bale

Both recycled paper and plastics grades saw price increases this week, but both were due to different market conditions.

Packaging plastic grades increased in price following further PRN/PERN price increases.


Paper grades seemed to rise on the back of a touch more demand for top quality material.

Metal prices were largely unchanged, but there is concern around the high aluminium PRN/PERN price and the shutdown of a major aluminium buyer in the coming weeks (more below).

Despite Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister this week, there was no real reaction on the foreign exchange markets, as this had already been priced in. The pound was trading at $1.24 at the time of writing, a touch down on $1.25 this time last week. Against the euro, it was unchanged at €1.11.

Recycled plastics

Plastic packaging grades benefited from a PRN/PERN price that reached £305 this week.

This helped to push them all up by about £10 per tonne, as there was also some resistance to physical prices swinging all over the place at the same rate as the PRN/PERN.

European buyers continue to have strong interest for packaging grades, with film in particular attracting high prices into Europe.

Domestic buyers generally are the ones that are looking for stability and are preferring contracted over spot prices.

Where will the PRN/PERN price head? With Q2 data showing the second best quarter ever recorded for plastics, this still only means that we are set to only just meet compliance for this year. Looks like high and volatile prices are here to stay for this year at least.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2505-511492-498

Recycled paper

Demand for OCC increased this week, with China grades once again attracting a premium – up to £75 per tonne.

This seemed to be due to some extra quota being available, and mills looking to buy at low prices.

It wasn’t a flood of interest, so don’t be surprised if there isn’t a surge in prices. Interest might also ease throughout August.

The China increase helped to raise the rest of the market and domestic and other export destinations were around £65 to £70 per tonne.

Mixed paper also increased in price a touch, pushed up by higher OCC values.

For both OCC and mixed paper, September is expected to bring more interest from export markets.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Most grades were relatively stable in price this week.

However, there is some concern about the aluminium PRN/PERN price as it appears that one particular seller appears to be holding onto them in order to keep the price high.

Demand looks set to fall in September for aluminium cans, as a major buyer will have a scheduled shutdown for a few weeks.

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.