Recycling prices and market commentary: 3 May 2019


Recyclers were not particularly active in the market this week with trading volumes of recyclable materials generally reported as low.

Some were off taking extended holidays ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, while some European countries had 1 May as a day off, which meant trade into Europe was quieter all week.


There wasn’t too much movement of prices as a result, but OCC came off, while the best LDPE grades increased in price. Some industrial metal grades also lost some value.

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As the Q1 PRN/PERN data was digested, those materials that were looking comfortable saw prices fall. While plastic and aluminium, which both look challenging retained their value with plastic still around £180 per tonne and aluminium around £105 per tonne.

For those recyclers trading in dollars, the pound strengthened a touch against it to $1.30 from $1.29 a week ago, making UK material a little more expensive.

The pound also gained a touch against the euro, to reach €1.16 from €1.15 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

Trade was generally sluggish this week, with demand domestically and into Europe weak due to holidays.

However, demand for LDPE 98/2 and 99/1 was good into Europe pushing up the former by £25 per tonne, and the latter by even more than that.

This was aided by the high PRN/PERN price of £180 per tonne.

With trade to deep water destinations difficult, there is chatter that Malaysia may consider completely banning plastic imports again. As reported by us here, the Malaysia Minister Yeo Bin Yee herself opened containers of low grade plastics for recycling that had been listed as commodity code 3920 rather than 3915. This means the material was being smuggled into Malaysia.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

The market for recovered paper was very quiet this week.

Low demand from most markets, plus bank holidays in Europe and elsewhere made is a sluggish market.

There was some dipping into the market by Chinese recyclers, but at low prices. £70 was the top price that could be achieved, but most orders were below this down to £65.

Elsewhere, £60 to £65 for OCC was more likely, meaning the difference between China spec material and elsewhere is now quite small.

The PRN/PERN value couldn’t help either as this fell to around £15-£16 this week when just a month ago it was above £20. This is still high historically compared to most of the time when the PRN/PERN has been a pound, but it still has taken the edge of OCC prices this week.

Mixed paper and news & pam held their prices.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper saw a big drop in value by £200 per tonne, as Chinese interest in the material waned.

Otherwise, most metals were stable.

Aluminium PRN/PERN prices remain high at £104 to £106 as targets look challenging to meet. Steel PRN/PERN prices remained stable at around £20 per tonne.

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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