Recycling prices and market commentary: 3 November 2023

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Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling
Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling

After the big prices drops experienced by some grades last week, this week saw more stability and even some small rebound.

With the plastic PRN/PERN gaining a little, this helped to provide a boost for plastic packaging grades.

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But this wasn’t the same picture for paper grades, where markets continue to be tough.

There was also some pick-up for non-ferrous grades in metals.

As we head into November and get closer to what is traditionally a busy time of year, the demand that is normally around for material just doesn’t seem to be there on the whole.

The pound gained on the dollar this week reaching $1.23 compared to $1.21 last week. It was also up on the euro to €1.15 from €1.14 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

After a fall of around £120 per tonne in the PRN/PERN market last week, there was a slight rebound of £12 or so per tonne this week.

This helped packaging grades to regain around £10 per tonne of this, but of course, this was nowhere near enough to make up what had been lost.

The question now is whether this is a new level for the PRN/PERN or if the market will change in coming weeks either downwards or upwards.

But it is also the case that markets continue to be challenging, and there seems a disconnect between the data on the NPWD that drives the PRN/PERN market and the situation on the ground where demand for the physical product appears to be low.

Recycled paper

While the fall for OCC was dramatic last week, it drifted a little lower this week by a couple of quid per tonne.

Asian mills that were driving the markets in recent weeks, have pulled back and nobody was stepping back in.

Mixed paper followed the downward trend and was generally in the low £60s.

The view is that November trading is mostly done now, and there will only be little bits for the rest of the month. Once December comes around, you are then up against it to get material on the water before Christmas. It remains to be seen whether there might be a brief flurry in early December or whether demand will stay subdued.

Recycled metals

Copper grades were up by £100 per tonne this week, while brass increased by £50 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