Recycling prices and market commentary: 6 November 2020

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

There were no fireworks in the recycling market this week with November increasingly looking like being a quiet month.

With compliance met for the year effectively, the PRN/PERN market remains subdued and prices are low.


But physical markets are uncertain and likely to remain so through this month and possibly beyond. With the UK entering lockdown for a month, and other European countries doing so too, nobody is quite sure how this will affect the market.

Then at the end of the year, Brexit is worrying a lot of people and how that will affect both logistics and demand for UK material.

Some hope for more optimism in December as we enter the transition period for 2021 compliance and we may come out of lockdown. But the next few weeks look like they will be subdued across the board.

Foreign exchange markets responded to the unclear US Presidential Election market by weakening the dollar, which meant a stronger pound. At the time of writing the pound was trading at $1.31 compared to $1.29 a week ago.

Against the euro, the pound was a touch weaker at €1.10 compared to €1.11 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

It remains an uncertain time for the plastics market at the moment.

Until we get into the transition period in December, the market looks set to be quiet.

PRN/PERN values dropped by a pound this week, and continued to provide no support when underlying plastic prices remain weak compared to the earlier part of the year.

It is therefore a waiting game for plastic packaging recyclers, hoping the market will pick up as we head into the new compliance year.

As a result of this, there were no price changes this week.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

Like other markets, there were not any fireworks occurring this week in trading.

There was a little extra demand from European mills, but not to the extent that it made any difference in price. Some still hold the view that these mills will be buying strongly again like they did in lockdowns earlier in the year, now they are in similar situations. Some are not so sure. What is clear is that there is demand, but the mills aren’t prepared to get in a bidding war.

While there is some demand from South East Asia, shipping there is a bit problematic at present. There are reports that containers are being sent back empty to China in order to ensure they are position there to satisfy the strong requirements of the east/west routes. This means getting containers to other ports in Asia is more challenging.

Mixed demand remains good, but hasn’t increased in the last couple of weeks keeping prices where they are.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades increased by £50 per tonne this week, while brass grades dropped by the same amount.

Ferrous grades increased by £5 per tonne, including cans.

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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