Recycling prices and market commentary: 5 June 2020

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

Those trading in the recycling market this week generally found themselves trying to decide which way values are headed.

For the paper sector, the movement was largely downward, although some are hopeful that it won’t go too far.


Those trading plastics found that prices were mostly stable, although film grades came down a bit. Again, there is some hope that demand will improve.

In metals however, there was some uplift for copper and brass grades.

The pound was stronger against the dollar this week, making deep sea exports more expensive. It was at $1.26 compared to $1.23 a week ago. After a brief flurry above €1.12 midweek, the euro ended the week unchanged compared to a week ago at €1.11.

Recycled plastics

With a stable PRN/PERN price once again this week, the focus was on the underlying health of the materials.

PET and HDPE bottles are still seeing good demand, so the price of these was unchanged.

Demand for LDPE film though was a bit weaker, although there are some signs that buyers in Europe might be a bit more eager in the coming weeks. Much will depend on how well markets there re-open following lockdowns and what this means for finished product.

Otherwise for film grades, it is a wait and see scenario until the picture becomes clearer.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2295-301286-292

Recycled paper

Trading in paper grades was very quiet this week as mills didn’t seem to want to buy.

Largely, this is because they have decent (maybe not full though) stocks and are happy to see how far prices will fall before they step in and start buying again.

This will be dependent on when inventory levels reach the point where they need to enter the market again.

There are two views in the market. One is that with countries re-opening after lockdown there will be revitalised demand for finished goods, which will feed demand for recovered fibre. The other view is that we aren’t heading back to normal anytime soon and demand will be subdued. Only the coming weeks will give us more clarity on which way we are headed.

As a result of conditions this week, OCC was down to around £60 for much of the market, although some were achieving £80 for the very highest quality to select destinations. Many were in the £50s though.

Mixed dropped again and anywhere between £5 to £20 is typical with most just above £10 per tonne.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Increased demand on the LME saw copper and brass grades rise by £50 and £100 per tonne respectively.

Otherwise, all other grades saw no change.

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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