Recycling prices and market commentary: 27 September 2019

HDPE bottles recycling
HDPE bottles baled for recycling

Volatility wasn’t the key message in this week’s recycling market for once as plastic PRN/PERN prices remained stable.

As a result, there was no change in the price of the physical material either, although demand remains strong.


Paper grades continued to struggle, with the value of OCC lower again this week – more on this below.

Metal grades were also stable this week, with no real changes recorded, apart from ferrous grades that again dropped a touch.

Those shipping abroad found that the value of the pound made their goods a bit cheaper this week, as it fell to $1.22 from $1.25 a week ago. Against the euro, the pound was trading at €1.12 down a touch from €1.13 a week ago.

Recycled plastic

For once the value of the PRN/PERN remained unchanged this week at £420-£440 per tonne.

Indeed, it was reported as quite a quiet week for the trade of certificates, which compared to the recent volatility seems in itself highly unusual. Nobody was quite sure why, although one theory was that the market was sick of the volatility and had decided to calm things down – at least for a few days.

Physical prices remained unchanged.

Demand for higher grades remains good, particularly into Europe, Turkey to a degree, and some Far Eastern destinations. Film in particular is finding good markets, and HDPE bottle demand is good.

With demand so strong, supply of LDPE film is a struggle as buyers snap it up. UK buyers are continuing to rely on existing relationships rather than react to the higher prices.

Forecast prices

LDPE629-635 619-625

Recycled paper

Prices for OCC fell at the bottom of the market. Indian, European and UK buyers all dropped to somewhere between £46 to £56 per tonne with demand still a struggle from these destinations.

Chinese buyers were more in the region of £56 to £60 but they are dipping into the market when they have a bit of quota to fulfil rather than purchasing in volume.

There isn’t too much to be positive about at the moment, and there is a view that things are unlikely to get better in the coming weeks.

However, there is a possibility that some more demand will come online as we head into the traditionally busier period of October and November. If this happens, it is only likely to be small improvement on where we are now.

News that Nine Dragons plans to shift some capacity towards recycled pulp, could also suggest shifting patterns in the industry.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Industrial grades stayed the same as last week.

However, steel prices continued to fall with another £5 coming off both cans and other steel scrap.

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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