Secondary Markets Commentary – 2 March 2018


The optimism from the end of last week that this might be an improving week for the recycling market was smothered by a layer of snow and blown away by strong winds.

However, there were some positives with OCC and HDPE bottles both rising in value.


Otherwise, trade volumes were reasonably small as material just wasn’t moving.

There were a few issues created by the weather.

First of all, there was actually demand in the market, as some who wanted material were unable to get it, either from orders that had already been made, or new orders.

This was because many facilities were forced to shut or work shorter hours due to the difficulty in getting staff, or material into them.

There was also the fact that vehicle movements to transport material were severely restricted with hauliers understandably ensuring priority was given to food supply to retailers etc if and when they could move their vehicles.

With the weather also creating havoc across Europe, many who were sending material there were stuck with it until Spring arrives at some point.

Collections of material were also hit with many local authorities or collectors to businesses forced to postpone them due to the weather.

As a result, it appears there is a temporary shortage of material for reprocessors, but it is also likely that has things get back to normal there will be a lot more material to collect and this is bound to have an effect on the market.

For prices, this hasn’t had an impact as yet, as many in the market were off work or trying to sort out orders, so trade wasn’t necessarily happening anyway.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a temporary boost as reprocessors and exporters try to fulfil orders in the coming weeks, or how quickly all the material due to come onto the market will suppress prices.

In other news, there are rumours that around 3,000 containers are stuck portside in Vietnam as officials decide there whether to accept the materials into the country, or send them back. This situation hasn’t been confirmed, but it seems likely that Vietnam is implementing a tougher policy to ensure it doesn’t get lots of poor quality material.


HDPE bottles have increased by £10 per tonne on the back of slightly more demand and aided by the recent rises in the PRN price.

Otherwise, material wasn’t moving this week with the export effectively closed at present, with many plastics traders opting not to bother in a difficult week in terms of the weather.

See plastic pricing data at the bottom of the page here


OCC rose by £5 per tonne this week boosted by additional demand coming from destinations in Asia apart from China.

Indeed, despite an expectation that Chinese buyers would likely be buying for March this week, the prices they were paying tended to be at the lower end of the market.

See paper pricing data at the bottom of the page here


Copper and brass grades fell this week as demand for these grades fell again.

See metal pricing data at the bottom of the page here

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