Recycling prices and market commentary: 7 May 2021


With the exception of industrial non-ferrous metals, it was a downward facing market for many grades of recycled materials this week.

Packaging paper and cardboard grades continue to slide gradually, although some other paper grades are a bit more robust.


Plastic packaging suffered from a weaker PRN/PERN value again this week.

However, industrial non-ferrous metals were strong with copper and brass still jumping up in value.

Shipping remains challenging due to high surcharges and shipping lines having tight availability.

In terms of foreign exchange, the pound was the same as last week against the dollar at $1.39 and remained at €1.15 against the euro.

Recycled plastic

Underlying demand from Europe for packaging grades appears to be easing, but is not translating into lower prices.

However, with the PRN/PERN price coming off by £10 per tonne, there was no resistance to packaging grades coming down by the same amount.

While it is not easy getting hold of material at the moment, equally the strong demand isn’t there either, leaving the PRN/PERN value to have the strongest influence on market movement.

Those in the market expect the rest of the month to be like this.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2329-335334-340

Recycled paper

There wasn’t a huge amount of trade in the market this week as mill groups seemed to step back, whether they were UK, EU or Asian.

It is partly due to seasonality with this traditionally seen as a quieter time of the year, until things pick up in the summer. This is especially the case with European mills that don’t appear to be as interested as they were in previous weeks.

But also Indian demand is down due to the Covid crisis there, which is having an impact on the availability of pulp to China also affected. But with mills there well stocked at present, there is no need to panic and they don’t need to up the game with their South-East Asian mills either.

For the rest of the month, the outlook seems to be gradually lowering prices, according to those in the market.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades were up by £75 per tonne and brass by £50 per tonne as the value of industrial non-ferrous metals keeps on rising.

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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