Recycling prices and market commentary: 8 February 2019

Cardboard ready for recycling

The recycling marketplace was quiet this week for a variety of reasons depending on where the material was being sent to.

In the paper market, a combination of Chinese New Year and weak demand elsewhere led to falling prices and even weaker trading.


Plastics were affected by uncertainty in the PRN/PERN market again as traders waited for the publication of January’s data this weekend for packaging grades. Weakening demand for material abroad isn’t helping either.

Metals however did see some extra demand that helped to boost copper, brass and steel grades.

The pound fell against the dollar a touch this week, making export material to deep sea destinations slightly cheaper. The pound was at $1.29 compared to $1.30 a week ago.

Against the euro, the pound was stable at €1.14.

Recycled plastics

There wasn’t any change in prices this week, as packaging grade traders awaited the publication of January’s National Packaging Waste Database figures.

With the PRN/PERN price so volatile, any data could make a big different to its prices, and as a consequence the physical material prices too.

Question marks are also starting to be asked about Turkey as a sustainable destination.

It is being said that the country is struggling to sell the recycled pellet it is creating from all the material it is importing. The quality of the pellet is supposedly not too great, and as a result, countries such as China are refusing to buy from this still immature market.

With Turkey one of the few remaining outlets outside of Europe available to exporters, this could be a concern if it proves to be true.

Demand for material from UK facilities and Europe remains solid if unspectacular.

Forecast prices


Recycled paper

With it being Chinese New Year this week, and demand from there poor at present anyway, Chinese buyers were largely out of the market.

If they were buying any contracted tonnes, it tended to be in the £80 to £85 range.

For other non-China destinations, prices have slumped to around the low-£60s.

Orders across the board were said to be thin on the ground.

Typically, the period following Chinese New Year is also tricky due to ships being in the wrong place, so it might be Chinese buyers remain subdued in their purchasing patterns, particularly as Chinese mills are said to be quite full up at present.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Better prices on the LME saw copper rise by £150 per tonne and brass by £50 per tonne.

Steel prices were up by £10 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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