Recycling prices and market commentary: 8 May 2020

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

A little early ahead of the UK bank holiday weekend, this week was characterised by a generally quieter recycling market.

UK domestic and European recyclers tended to remain the key markets for most materials this week, but this was disrupted to an extent by bank holidays on Friday or Monday in most European countries or tomorrow in the case of the UK.


The quieter recycling market did see some changes though, with paper grades rising a touch. Find out more below about whether market sentiment sees this continuing.

There wasn’t too much change for plastics, although film dropped back a touch further.

Copper increased for metals, as did brass, but that was it in that market.

With some deep sea trade still continuing, those who were able to access those markets saw the pound slightly weaker against the dollar at $1.23 compared to $1.25 a week ago.

There was no change for the euro which remained at €1.14.

Recycled plastics

UK and European trade remained the focus of this week’s quieter recycling market for plastics.

Bottle grades were unchanged, as supply and demand plus the PRN/PERN value were pretty much stable.

There was a small fall of £5 per tonne for LDPE film higher grades due to a slight easing of demand in Europe, which was driven partly by market disruption caused by countries having bank holidays last Friday or Monday, or in the case of the UK tomorrow.

But demand has also weakened a little for film grades as there is less need for finished product for non-food packaging. However, this situation may change over the coming weeks as some ending of lockdown happens in both European and Asian nations.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2350-356349-355

Recycled paper

There was a bit of an increase in price for cardboard this week with some achieving above £130 per tonne into Europe in particular.

But there was also a bit more resistance to pricing at this level, and many with material to trade felt this could be the last chance to sell at these prices for a while.

UK mills were around £100 per tonne, and seemed unwilling to compete with their counterparts in Europe.

Indeed, it increasingly seems that UK and European mills are decently stocked.

There is some movement of OCC to Asian nations and relaxations are being reported to India, although material isn’t moving there as yet.

Some South East Asian nations also appear to be willing to take some more material, but flows are low.

Mixed paper also responded to this increase in demand rising up to £40 per tonne, although again most of the demand for it was from UK and European mills.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper grades increased by £100 per tonne and brass grades by £50 per tonne. This was due to increased LME values reflecting that China is resuming construction projects.

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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