Market Snapshot: September 2013

11th January 2017

WRAP's Market Snapshot provides an overview of recent developments in recovered material markets and is updated on a regular basis.

Key points:
Steel and aluminium can prices are both broadly unchanged since June although higher primary steel prices may yet feed into higher recovered steel can prices
Market concerns over exports of recovered plastic resulted in plastic PRN prices rising to around £65 per tonne as the likelihood of meeting the packaging target for plastics appears to have diminished
Recovered glass container prices have increased sharply since June buoyed by higher glass PRN prices as the market anticipates that the chances of meeting the 2013 glass packaging target are slim


The latest data from the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) show that UK paper mills used 1.59Mt of recovered paper in the period Jan-May 2013, up 0.4% from the same period in 2012. Over the same period, domestic OCC use fell by 2.2% to 644kt and news & PAM usage increased by 4.5% to 636kt. Mixed paper usage rose by 41% to 118kt.

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Mixed polymer bottle prices fell to a low of £50-£55 per tonne in May (although prices ranged from £25 per tonne to £80 per tonne depending on location and quality) following March’s introduction of the ‘Green Fence’ by the Chinese authorities to reduce import contamination. Since then mixed polymer prices have rebounded to around £105 per tonne, although they are still some 20% below their March 2013 levels.

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Recovered glass container prices have generally increased sharply since the start of June as high glass PRN prices encourage increased demand for recovered glass. Mixed glass prices rose by £18 per tonne to £35 per tonne. Amber and green cullet prices are around £5 per tonne higher at £33 per tonne and £25 per tonne respectively. Clear glass prices are broadly unchanged.

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Recovered textile prices have remained broadly stable since June in the range of £350- £500 per tonne, depending on location and quality etc.

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Aluminium and steel

Recovered aluminium and steel can prices are broadly stable at £800 per tonne and £150 per tonne respectively. An 18% rise in primary steel prices over the past few months may start to feed through into recovered steel can prices. In contrast primary aluminium prices are up by just 2% since June, perhaps pointing towards aluminium can prices remaining near current levels.

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Where next?

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