Recycling prices and market commentary: 30 July 2021

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LDPE film

This week was largely stable, but recent falls in the PRN/PERN market could have an impact on plastics prices in the coming weeks.

Following the recent Q2 data and more confidence that it was fully up-to-date, the PRN/PERN market saw paper, plastics, wood and aluminium all come down.

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The biggest fall was for plastics though, and this looks set to drive purchase prices for physical plastics in the coming weeks.

With August now upon us, and the holiday season beginning, this is typically a time when companies are scrabbling around looking for material among the low volumes generated, if they aren’t on holiday themselves. But this year, with many people opting to holiday in the UK, there is hope that more volume will be available, especially with demand good still across most grades.

However, much will also depend on Europe, which traditionally buys less in Europe, and it is still unclear whether this will stay as normal, or good demand will remain this year.

In terms of foreign exchange, the pound was stronger against the dollar at $1.39 from $1.37 a week ago, and was a touch stronger compared to the euro at €1.17 from €1.16 last week.

Recycled plastics

The PRN/PERN price was the main topic of discussion this week with the recent Q2 data (and more confidence in it) pushing the price down to around £50 per tonne. This means the price has effectively halved since a month ago.

Those who want to buy material are therefore pushing for further reductions in August from sellers, as there isn’t the benefit of the PRN/PERN to keep prices higher.

However, the counter to that is that Turkey is expected to be back in the market soon once importers have got their licenses sorted, and that is expected to provide a boost to demand.

Until that happens, most expect the lower PRN/PERN should provide downward pressure on physical prices.

That didn’t happen this week though, with prices remaining where they were last week on the whole.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET290-296294-300
HDPE524-530532-538
LDPE 98/2338-344343-349

Recycled paper

It was largely a stable market for key paper grades this week, despite some domestic mills having a very strong appetite for OCC and mixed. However, this was balanced out by slightly weaker demand from other destinations, India in particular.

There are also reports that there is really strong demand from Europe for fruit boxes, with some prepared to pay over £200 per tonne for this fibre-rich grade.

Multi and SOW have also jumped up this week by around £10 per tonne.

Most in the market expect August to be relatively stable though, with demand and supply expected to stay in equilibrium.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC143-147145-149
ONP138-142140-144
Mixed109-113110-114

Recycled metals

Copper and brass saw price rises this week as increasing LME values filtered down to scrap. Copper was up by £200 per tonne, and brass by £50 per tonne.

All other grades were 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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