Recycling prices and market commentary: 31 May 2019

Cardboard ready for recycling

The plastic PRN/PERN price continued to dominate conversations this week, in what was otherwise a still overall quiet market.

With the value of the PRN/PERN now at £220 per tonne, people are wondering how far it can go.


It also had the result of boosting the price of packaging grades again.

With just a month until The Recycling Event, make sure you book your tickets now. Major retailers and manufacturers are attending. You should be there too.

Paper grades remain in the doldrums with OCC again falling in value. More on this below.

Metal grades were stable this week.

Against the dollar, the pound was stable at $1.26. The euro was also relatively unchanged at €1.13.

Recycled plastics

With the PRN/PERN price hitting £220 per tonne from £207 last week, this helped to push up the value of packaging grades by £10 per tonne.

People are wondering how far this record-breaking run will go, and if there are limits to how high the price can get. Of course, there is also the risk of a big drop at some point too if the data changes.

European buyers continue to be very interested in PET and HDPE bottles and 99/1 and 98/2 film, with the PERN helping to make UK material extremely competitive along with the low pound.

Some Asian destinations remain interested, but there are concerns that the Malaysian Government may decide to ban imports of plastics after continued poor quality shipments have arrived there. Reports have suggested though that despite being blamed, the UK isn’t actually responsible in this case. That wouldn’t stop a potential global import ban by Malaysian authorities though.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

Arisings of OCC were very poor again this week, with some suggesting it was the quietest week they had seen in over a decade outside of Christmas and August.

Prices for OCC tumbled again with some Chinese activity for its specification at £50 to £55. But they were not buying a lot and not necessarily for the month either. Chinese buyers might dip into the market over the coming weeks, but are likely to buy weekly rather than monthly as they expect prices to keep falling.

UK mills were at £45 to £50 and are not exactly filling their boots either and neither were other destinations.

These are increasingly tough times for OCC trades.

Mixed retained some interest from German mills, leaving prices the same.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

There was no change for the price of scrap metals, in what appears to be an unusually settled market. Normally, volatility is expected in the scrap metal market, but it isn’t occurring at the moment.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.