Recycling prices and market commentary: 5 March 2021

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

There continues to be heat in the paper and cardboard market with prices jumping up again this week, with this market predicted to last for quite a few weeks.

Plastic packaging grades were also boosted by an increase in the value of the PRN/PERN, although not all grades responded at the same price as the value of the certificate.


Metals suffered however from weaker trading on the LME, with this affecting aluminium cans.

Haulage continues to be an issue with the additional costs as a result of Brexit, but also because of the Direct Vision Standard that has been introduced in London (as mentioned last week).

Due to this, EU haulage firms are slapping on additional fees of up to €250 (£216) for travelling into this London zone, while UK hauliers are happier with £30 to £50.

The pound softened against the dollar to $1.38 this week from $1.41 last week, making exports to deep sea destinations a little cheaper. Those trading into Europe saw the euro static against sterling at €1.15.

Recycled plastics

There was upward movement in the PRN/PERN market this week with a £30 increase in its value.

This pushed up packaging grades with top quality film taking the full amount, with trade into Europe especially strong. LDPE buyers in the UK seem happy to wait it out, even as the market increases in value and are therefore topping up stocks with low-priced contractual tonnage.

Underlying demand for PET and HDPE bottles was a little weaker and these increased by £20 per tonne, not taking the full PRN/PERN value. There is some hope though that as lockdown restrictions begin to ease over the coming months that these grades will pick up in value as demand increases.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2280-286268-274

Recycled paper

The heat in the paper and cardboard market continued this week with little sign that it is about to end any time soon.

With lack of supply of recovered fibre and strong demand for finished paper and cardboard for most grades, prices look set to be driven even higher.

OCC was demanding anywhere around £135 per tonne this week if you could get hold of fibre to sell or buy.

Mixed is also performing strongly with £85 typical and sometimes more. With mixed jumping above the price of news & pams, this pulled up the latter too, with newsprint mills now having to pay more to get enough of the grades they want.

However, multi and SOW haven’t joined the party, and if anything, prices have eased slightly for these grades.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades dropped by £350 per tonne on the back of weaker performance on the LME.

Brass fell by £150 and aluminium was £100 lower in price. This affected aluminium cans, which are now typically trading in the range of £700 to £800.

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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