Recycling prices and market commentary: 3 September 2021

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LDPE film

Haulage and shipping continued to tax the minds of recyclate traders this week, with no apparent end in sight to the woes experienced by pretty much everybody.

Not just in the recycling sector, but other industries and businesses can see no respite until beyond Christmas.

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As a result, many are opting to trade long, typically on a monthly basis, giving them the room to deal with logistics for the rest of the month.

The impact of this is that there were only minor changes this week.

Against the pound, the dollar was trading at $1.38 from $1.37 a week ago and compared to the euro was still at €1.16.

Recycled plastics

Demand is still really good for plastics at the moment, but so far, the impact of Turkey announcing its reversal on its import ban remains muted.

Prices are largely static, especially as the PRN/PERN value only came down by a couple of pounds – not enough to move packaging grades.

There was some additional demand for PET, especially as moving it is proving challenging, and this has pushed the price up by around £10 per tonne.

Other packaging grades were relatively static with many having traded long.

European buyers of film are just returning after their holidays, so this week was also about getting back into the swing of things and assessing the market and inventory levels.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET297-303298-304
HDPE534-540534-540
LDPE 98/2324-330325-331

Recycled paper

Although there had been strong speculation last week that prices would shoot up through September, that did not come to pass this week at least.

If anything, OCC prices were down a touch as South East Asian mills eased off and other destinations were not wanting to beat them on price. Indian mills are still reluctant to enter the market at these levels.

Mixed was a little different though, with prices rising by about £3 per tonne, driven by continued European demand, plus some UK mills now happy to match these prices.

However, trading was much quieter than last week when most had bought for their month. Most are now focused on being able to move the material due to the haulage and shipping challenges.

There is even some talk that informal arrangements are being drawn up between some buyers and sellers so that lorries and containers can be booked up to Christmas.

Rumours also circulated this week that China is set to re-enter the market imminently for paper and cardboard, although these rumours appear unfounded as there is no evidence that the Chinese Government wants this to happen anytime soon. Typically, China likes to go through a process, like it did with re-permitting certain scrap metal imports under strict quality conditions, and there is no evidence that it has started this process.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC152-156151-155
ONP145-149143-147
Mixed121-125119-123

Recycled metals

Brass increased by £100 per tonne this week, while copper and aluminium grades were also up 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

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