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Recycled Prices Plummet, Along With Demand.

Pricing news is good for processors looking for recycled material. Tabs are down on all fronts, forced even lower by virgin producers trying to unload off-spec materials, according to recyclers. However, processors don't seem to care about any of it because their inventories are up and demand is down.

Recycled HDPE and PS seem to have taken the biggest hit in the last quarter, but other materials are not far behind. Most recyclers and processors say they don't expect much to change through the end of 2001.

R-PS & R-HDPE in free fall

Recycled polystyrene prices have fallen as much as 6[cts.]/1b for some grades. Prices reportedly dropped 20% in July alone. Despite such bargains, material is not moving, according to one recycler who says prices probably have to fall another 15% before orders will start coming in. However, this source says that's not likely to happen: "We need to make money, too," and prices that low would put recyclers in the red, he says.

HDPE prices have also taken a 67[cts.]/1b hit in some markets, recyclers report..

R-PET remains soft

Although recyclers say PET prices are soft, actual tabs have not fallen much in the last quarter. Yet most sources say the market is likely to drop further before rebounding. Although RPET business usually picks up during the summer, it has not this year. "That makes me doubt the market's strength through the rest of this year," says one recycler. Baled-bottle prices on the West Coast reached a low of 9[cts.]/1b, but those prices have come back up to just over 11[cts.]/lb, maybe a quarter of a cent higher than on the East Coast. "I think the economic slowdown is key. A lot of bottles are available, but that material is not selling. It is just sitting in inventory," says another recycler.

In the last two or three years, a lot of virgin wide-spec PET has been available during the fourth quarter, and both recyclers and processors expect that to be true again this year. That would keep the lid on recycled material prices through the end of the year.
 Pellets Flake
 [cts.]/lb [cts.]/lb
PET Bottles (Clean)
Clear Post-Consumer 46-52 38-42
Green Post-Consumer 40-44 32-36
HDPE (Clean)
Natural Post-Consumer 31-34 26
Mixed Colors 25-28 17-19
 High Impact
 Black 32-34 24-26
 Natural 32-34 -
General Purpose
 Black 18-20 5-7
 Natural 28-30 12-15
Post-Industrial 19-21 15-17
Post-Consumer 21-23 --
Polyethylene Film
 Stretch 28 --
 Printed/Mixed 13 --
 Printed 20
 Not Printed 24 --
 Flexible 32-40 --
 Rigid 46-66 --
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:plastics industry
Comment:Recycled Prices Plummet, Along With Demand.(plastics industry)
Author:Block, Debbie Galante
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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