Recycling prices and market commentary: 5 October 2018

Recycling market

October is normally one of the busiest times in the year for the trade of recyclable commodities in the build-up to Christmas.

But 2018 looks to be different, with the market already reporting that conditions appear to be quieting down already after a sluggish summer.


For plastics, the main focus is on trying to find markets, while paper trade is responding to Chinese quota conditions.

Otherwise, the overall macro-economic conditions are good. The exchange rate is stable and remains low historically. Shipping is also cheap, although containers are still hard to get hold of. Shipping lines are also nervous about whether to accept material.

Prices are generally high, and demand is good, but the problem is that the demand is good from countries where restrictions on import of material are in place.

The PRN market was unchanged this week, but that is a reflection of a quiet market awaiting publication of Q3 data to decide what the rest of this compliance period looks like.

Recycled plastics

LDPE film is really struggling to find a home at the moment and this is reflected in prices coming off by £30 a tonne.

Export markets are hard to find and UK domestic buyers are having their pick of material at lower prices.

Bottle grades are benefiting from good demand helping to keep them stable, while industrial plastics remain in demand particularly in UK and Europe.

Recycled paper

Chinese buyers of OCC are starting to ease back now that they are getting closer to fulfilling their quota allocations for 2018 and are uncertain what 2019 will bring.

It is understood that only one Chinese buyer was in the market in any depth this week, and they are expected to ease back as the month goes on.

Considering October is traditionally one of the strongest purchasing months, the last quarter of 2018 looks increasingly weak.

Top end prices for Chinese specification material dropped a touch to around the £180 mark this week, but some are predicting it may halve over the rest of the month.

This was responsible for the price fall in our overall market price. This was despite the bottom end of the market coming up to about £90 per tonne as they are increasingly wanting better quality too, and are finding the £80+ stuff is not worth it.

Other grades were unchanged.

Recycled metals

Industrial aluminium grades saw a £50 price rise this week, while brass was down £25 per tonne.

Can prices were unchanged.

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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