Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET)
In November, R-PET recyclers managed to widen their profit margins by passing through only a small proportion of a cost decline onto processors. Clear bottle scrap costs fell by around €160/tonne while R-PET clear flake and R-PET food-grade pellet prices fell by €50/tonne and €80/tonne, respectively. R-PET coloured flake prices fell by only €25-30/tonne largely due to more robust demand from Eastern Europe.
Ordering remained well below expectations, although there was a small increase in demand from the beverage sector. While recyclers have continued to reduce production in line with the lower demand, there was no noticeable shortage of material.
Destocking by converters combined with the short production month further exacerbated an already weak demand position and led to a collapse in R-PET prices. Clear flake material also faced stiff competition from imported recyclate. R-PET clear flake prices fell by €140-150/tonne with coloured flake and clear food grade pellet prices down by €100/tonne, well in excess of the €50/tonne reduction in the cost of bottle scrap.
Recycled low-density polyethylene (R-LDPE)
R-LDPE prices continued to fall in November albeit at a slower rate compared to the previous few months. Transparent film pellets and black extrusion pellet prices fell by €10-20/tonne while natural film grade prices were roughly stable. Yet again, recyclers were unable to factor in higher energy costs.
Supply was in better balance with demand as recyclers cut production even further in response and the low demand. The subdued demand is due mainly to competition from lower primary material prices and the economic downturn.
In December, R-LDPE natural film prices fell by €50/tonne with translucent film pellet prices down by €30/tonne. Demand was further suppressed by destocking by converters ahead of end year balance sheet accounting.
Recycled high-density polyethylene (R-HDPE)
In November, R-HDPE prices fell once again in response to the very weak demand. Coloured blow moulding pellet and black injection moulding pellet prices fell by €15-20/tonne.
While there appears to have been a small uptick in automotive sector sales, demand from most other sectors remained low. R-HDPE is facing growing competition from the falling price of primary material and the economic downturn is also restraining sales. Recyclers have curbed production even further in response to the low demand. There was however sufficient material available to cover contracted volumes.
In December, R-HDPE prices fell by €30-50/tonne as a result of lower input costs and a further deterioration in demand. Converters bought only sufficient material to cover their immediate needs ahead of the end year accounting.
Recycled polypropylene (R-PP)
R-PP recyclers throttled production even further in November in response to continuing low demand. Nevertheless, this was insufficient to prevent R-PP prices from slipping by a further €30-40/tonne.
While the automotive sector registered a small demand upturn in November, there was little improvement across other end use sectors. Competition form the falling primary material prices and the looming recession are the main factors restraining R-PP demand.
R-PP prices fell by just €10/tonne in December amid continuing production curbs and weak demand.
Recycled high-impact polystyrene (R-HIPS)
In November, R-HIPS prices fell by €20/tonne in response to continuing low demand. Recyclers have reduced output even further to match the lower sales volumes. Competition from virgin material was not an issue here as primary HIPS prices remain well above R-HIPS prices.
In December, R-HIPS prices fell by €50/tonne as a result of falling costs and low demand.