Recycling prices and market commentary: 29 April 2022


Rising prices were seen for paper, plastics and PRNs/PERNs this week but some metals fell back.

Last week’s NPWD data led to an uplift in most PRN/PERN prices, and this helped support the physical markets.


Plastic packaging grades benefitted from this with them all rising, and it was the same picture with paper grades.

While steel cans got some support from the PRN/PERN price, it was a week where some metal grades dropped in value with the exception of copper.

In addition to support from the PRN/PERN, the deep sea market was also helped by a big fall in the exchange rate between the dollar and pound. At the time of writing, the pound was at $1.25 from $1.29 a week ago. Levels like this were last seen in July 2020. While not a great indicator for the UK economy, they do make UK material cheaper.

However, the euro was trading still at €1.18 like last week.

Recycled plastic

Packaging grades gained this week on the back of the increased PRN/PERN price and good demand from Europe.

Although the PRN/PERN price had gone as high as £180 per tonne during the week, it had fallen to around £168 at the time of writing. This meant it was around £28 higher than last week, even if predictions of a £200 PRN/PERN price have so far not come to pass.

There were also some doubts over last week’s NPWD data with some plastics reprocessors appearing to get the wrong date for their submissions from automated UK agencies reminder emails, meaning they ended up being late.

European demand appears to be really strong at the moment as manufactures continue to make the switch from virgin to recycled content. But high prices are making it harder for Turkish buyers, and deep sea Asian traders are not keen on the high values and extra paperwork involved.

But with all of this strong demand from Europe, many are wondering how high prices can keep going.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2620-626624-630

Recycled paper

It was a tale of two markets this week, with domestic mills looking like they were dropping out as export markets increased demand and price.

The rising PRN/PERN and the cheaper exchange rate benefitted the export market. Deep sea buyers were active for OCC, with the added benefit of Vietnam looking to fill its quota. European mills tended to want mixed as usual.

As a result of this, mixed prices were up around £8 to £10 and OCC by £10 to £15 depending on destination.

Both multi and SOW have also seen some big price rises in recent days too.

However, with many trading for the month, the question is now whether the spot market will largely stay where it is, or whether there will be enough demand for some to return and what this will mean for prices. There are also some warning that the global economic slowdown, and lockdowns in China will suppress demand at some point.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Ferrous grades fell by around £35 per tonne this week. However, for steel cans, an almost £20 rise in the PRN/PERN value helped to provide some support and stop them falling by this full amount.

Brass also dropped by £50 per tonne, but copper increased 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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