Recycling prices and market commentary: 5 August 2022

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

For paper and plastic grades it was another week where prices dropped by quite a bit.

In the case of plastics, the fall in the PRN/PERN price last week hit a market that was already suffering from underlying price falls.


But with paper grades, there aren’t very many orders out there and mills seem well stocked.

With the global economy under pressure, many in the market are fearful about where prices are headed, especially when the market returns after the holiday period in September.

However, it should also be remembered that recent months have seen record prices, and current pricing levels appear to be at more normal levels. The concern is if they keep dropping further.

Against the dollar the pound was unchanged at $1.21 this week. However, the pound versus the euro was slightly down at €1.18 from €1.19 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

After last week’s fall in the value of the PRN/PERN, plastic packaging grades came down further this week.

When combined with less underlying demand in the market, it means prices have dropped significantly over the past month.

Of course, much of the UK and Europe is on holiday this month, and this has helped to hit demand. However, it is also the case that the market is responding to lower oil prices, less appetite from buyers and a weaker global economy.

There isn’t a huge amount of optimism in the market at the moment, and the fear is that plastics prices have got further to go. With the NPWD data so far showing good numbers for 2022, there are also worries that the PRN/PERN price won’t respond further to falling physical prices.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2639-645643-649

Recycled paper

Over recent months, mills around the world have been buying lots of fibre and producing lots of finished product.

Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to sell all these finished goods and are sitting on high stocks. This means that appetite has fallen too.

There are very few regions where orders are coming from, and those that do have need to stock up are getting fewer and fewer. Some European mills have still been buying, but at lower prices.

Where there were orders this week, prices had dropped considerably on even last week. Both OCC and mixed were down with the former typically just above £100 and up to £110 and the latter in the low- to high-£70s.

Those who were still active in the market this week, don’t want to predict how much more prices will fall, but the expectation is that there is more to come. Some though suggest September and the build-up to Christmas may mean prices may settle at the level they find by the end of this month.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

£75 per tonne came off the price of copper, but brass grades were up by £100 per tonne. Otherwise, there wasn’t much change in the market.

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