Recycling prices and market commentary: 27 November 2020


OCC and mixed paper increased this week, metals were up too, but there wasn’t too much change for plastics.

For these paper grades strong demand helped to push up prices, while increases on the LME benefitted metal grades. However, the plastic market was waiting for the transitional compliance period and the hope that this will push up packaging grade prices.


There have also been reports that applying for 2021 PRN accreditation seems particularly challenging this year, with the Environment Agency rejecting applications unless quite a long form with lots of new questions has been answered.

Those exporting will have found the pound slightly stronger against the dollar at $1.33 compared to $1.32 a week ago. The euro was also a little better at €1.12 from €1.11 last week.

Recycled plastics

Pricewise, not much changed this week. The market is quite subdued and for those trading packaging grades, waiting for next week when the transition period begins.

The plastic PRN/PERN was trading a little up this week for 2020 at £6 to £7 as it adjusted to filling any last minute compliance requirements for this compliance year and this may continue a little into December. But where there is trading for 2021 compliance year, the PRN/PERN price for this remained at around £75.

Apparently, orders have been made ready to ship from Tuesday next week when the transitional period begins due to the higher PRN/PERN. There is hope this will kick start the plastic market for December and prices will rise.

Indeed, demand looks good from Europe, Turkey and the couple of Asian destinations still buying if you can find the transport to get it there. Both containers and curtain-sided vehicles are still proving challenging.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

There was good demand for OCC and mixed from pretty much everywhere this week.

Board mills are eager for material and are prepared to pay for it at the moment. Prices were typically just below £100 per tonne but above £90 overall for OCC and around £50 per tonne for mixed. Restricted availability of fibre means they are keen to buy, but getting it there from the UK is proving problematic due to the logistical challenges by lack of shipping and/or lorries to get it to the destination.

Merchants are on the hunt for whatever material they could find though to take advantage of the high prices and hoping they can then find a way to get it to the buyer.

While demand remains strong for multi and SOW, and mills want the material, they also don’t want to get into a price war so there was no change for these grades this week.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

A strong week on the LME pushed up the price of copper by £200 per tonne, brass by £50 per tonne, but there was no change for aluminium.

With ferrous grades increasing by £5, the price of steel cans went up by the same amount.

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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