Recycling prices and market commentary: 6 September 2019

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Bales of plastic ready for recycling

Many recycling grades saw a price increase this week as people returned to work after holiday season.

Plastic grades were again boosted by a rising PRN/PERN price, but the latter dropped back down by the time of writing.

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Paper saw a small increase for OCC on the back of extra demand, but most other grades were stable.

Copper increased in metals, but steel grades including cans dropped.

With Parliament appearing to take back control of the Brexit process, the pound recovered against both the dollar and euro. Against the dollar, the pound was trading at $1.23 compared to $1.22 a week ago. However, it had dropped below $1.21 at the beginning of the week, giving a small boost to exporters.

Against the euro, a pound was worth €1.11 (not far off being €1.12) compared to €1.10 at the start of the week.

News that Vietnam has rejected containers and may introduce tougher import rules for recycling grades doesn’t seem to be changing too much at the moment. Most exporters are aware that only good quality should be sent these days. The worry is that bad apples from other countries may lead to import bans in Asian countries.

Recycled plastics

At one point this week, the PRN/PERN price breached £480 per tonne, before the market panicked about a potential £500 PRN/PERN and it dropped back down to £420 per tonne.

The effect of this was to push up prices again this week, so packaging grades all increased. If the PRN/PERN price remains at the £420 level, which was similar to last week, the price of physical material might come back too, unless demand stays strong.

Bottle grades increased by £5 per tonne, but film was up by £30 per tonne.

Demand for bottles and film remains strong from domestic and European markets in particular, boosted by the PRN/PERN but also good demand after recyclers had wound down stocks over the summer.

The expectation remains that the market will remain volatile over the coming weeks.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
PET415-422410-416
HDPE660-666663-669
LDPE 98/2610-616620-626

Recycled paper

There is a wide variation in the price being paid for OCC at the moment. Sending the material to India will get you something around the £50 mark, but sending it to China or Indonesia with a small exporter is heading towards £75 per tonne.

Everyone else is somewhere between with £60 to £70 more normal, depending on specification.

There remain hints that the market is creeping up and some more demand expected to come on soon may help to push it up a bit further.

Forecast prices

1-week4-week
OCC66-7065-69
ONP75-7974-78
Mixed27-3127-31

Recycled metals

Copper grades saw a £75 increase this week after rises were seen on the LME.

But ferrous grades, including cans, lost £10 per tonne as demand eased.

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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