Recycling prices and market commentary: 29 May 2020


Plastic and paper packaging grades saw falls in value this week due to a fall in the PRN/PERN value for the former and less demand for the latter.

There were different levels of demand for these plastic and paper packaging grades with good demand for bottles and film, but the recent strong demand for paper and cardboard in Europe is easing.


OCC and mixed paper both dropped for paper, while bottles and film fell in plastics.

Metal grades were relatively stable this week with the exception of brass and aluminium grades that saw slight reductions.

With it also being a bank holiday week, the market was naturally quieter. Some people were also taking holiday time, even if they were not able to go away as planned.

Against the dollar, the pound improved to $1.23 from $1.21 a week ago, which made deep sea exports a little more expensive.

Those trading into Europe saw unchanged FX values compared to last week at €1.11.

Recycled plastics

Packaging grades continue to see good demand at the moment.

Good weather has kept up good demand for PET and HDPE bottles, while re-opening of some shops has helped to stimulate more need for LDPE film.

However, these grades all saw a fall in price this week because of the fall in the value of the PRN/PERN by about £30 per tonne.

For bottle grades, this meant a drop in price of about £15 per tonne due to strong demand from UK and European sources.

LDPE dropped by £20 and although demand is good from UK and European buyers, the underlying increase in the value of the material wasn’t quite as strong as that seen for bottles.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2282-288295-301

Recycled paper

European demand for paper grades has started to fall back, and calls from sellers are increasingly ignored.

There was still some demand from some mills and there is speculation that they still haven’t filled their boots, but are wanting the price to come down a bit before stocking up again. However, the counter to that argument is that their own domestic markets are reopening again and will be the primary source of material again, plus the demand for end product has also slowed.

For OCC, prices dropped from last week, but there was wide variation depending on destination.

Those sending material into Europe and to destinations here at home could still see somewhere between £60 to £65 per tonne from some mills, but others were advertising £30 to £40 to appear to offer a price if they didn’t want to buy.

Indonesia has good demand for material and was paying top dollar, reaching above £80 per tonne, but many sellers were reluctant because of the need for Baltic Control inspections and the complications around additional self-distancing measures for their staff. Those who could find a way were benefiting.

Demand dropped for mixed paper though. Although £25 could be achieved at the top of the market for any available retail tonnage, orders for other sources of mixed became much harder to get. Below £15 per tonne wasn’t uncommon if a price was offered.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Brass grades fell by £50 per tonne and aluminium grades by £25 per tonne, but everything else, including cans, was stable.

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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