Recycling prices and market commentary: 5 November 2021

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Mixed plastics
Mixed plastics

It was a week for fireworks in the plastic packaging market, with a surprise announcement regarding the PRN/PERN market pushing up prices.

With the Environment Agency announcing PRN/PERNs were being put back onto the market, this created a big bang – more on this below.

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Paper markets were different, with prices easing down for key grades as demand appears to be waning.

Copper and brass grades dropped in the metals market.

Foreign exchange values also weakened, down to $1.34 at the time of writing from $1.37 a week ago, and from €1.18 to €1.16 this week.

Recycled plastics

Following the revealing by the Environment Agency that approximately 11,000 tonnes of PRN/PERNs had been put back on the market, and potentially another 19,000 or so to come too, this suddenly changed the dynamics of this compliance year.

Those buyers who now found themselves short for the year, piled in and pushed up the price to £65 (up £30 on a week ago). With an expectation that more PRN/PERNs will come back onto the market, there is also a view the price may go even higher over the next few weeks.

It also potentially means less carry-in for 2022, especially with this happening so later in the 2021 compliance year, and could mean high prices beyond Christmas in the transition months – maybe even beyond that.

The effect of this was to push prices up for packaging grades, even if the underlying picture was sometimes weaker. PET bottles increased by £20 per tonne, HDPE bottles by £30 and LDPE film by £25 per tonne.

It looks set to make what was expected to be a relatively benign market for the rest of the year, now turn into a volatile one.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET340-346337-343
HDPE618-624620-626
LDPE 98/2398-406392-398

Recycled paper

It does seem like prices are gradually easing down, and look set to come down over the next few weeks.

The Christmas rush seems to be over, with mills buying in advance.

South East Asian buyers are still in the market For OCC, with Malaysia still strong, but Vietnam and Thailand backing off. Turkey is also interested.

For both OCC and mixed, European demand seems to be easing, especially as there is an expectation there will be less competition for material in the market following the temporary ban on exports to India from the EU.

It is also the case that European mills seem increasingly well stocked, and are happy to try and push the price down before deciding when to step back in.

Sellers are still resisting, trying to get as much as they can, especially as they are taking those who want material as the benchmark.

The overall flow in the market for these grades, and now it seems news and pams, is generally downward it seems.

Multi and SOW are still holding up at high prices though.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC130-134132-136
ONP142-146144-148
Mixed100-104101-105

Recycled metals

Copper and brass both dropped by £50 per tonne this week, with other grades all 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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