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Recycled prices will stay soft. (Recycle Pricing).

* With the economy soft, virgin resin prices falling, and a glut of prime, wide-spec, and scrap on the market, reclaim prices are lower as well. Few recyclers or users of recycled resin expect prices to rebound before the second quarter.

R-PET prices may tumble

Through October, recycled PET prices dropped only 1-2Cents/1b from the year before. But some recyclers fear more precipitous drops may lie ahead. By early November, West Coast market demand was "absolutely tanking," according to one recycler. In the first week of the month, prices there reportedly dropped 40 to 50%. "That's because the Chinese stopped buying." The East Coast market is also soft. Among other factors, automotive use of recycled PET declined along with car and truck sales. Recyclers see even weaker demand and pricing in the next couple of months. Says one, "I don't expect business to start picking up before the second quarter."

R-HDPE poised to drop?

In 2001, natural post-consumer HDPE pellets slipped about 2-3Cents/1b while flake prices remained stable. But mixed colors fell as much as 8Cents/lb. One reprocessor expected to see prices fall farther before the year's end. "There's a lot of wide-spec around," he noted.

Polystyrene plunges

Recycled PS prices plunged in 2001. The smallest drop was 10-11Cents/1b for black HIPS pellets, while other pellets were down 14-16Cents/lb. Recycled flake saw drops of 14 to 23Cents/lb.

"I believe the problems we're having are totally related to the overproduction of virgin resin," says one reprocessor. "There is an awful lot of wide-spec virgin on the market at very low prices. The big question in everybody's mind is how much more PS capacity is coming on early in 2002."

Asian exports have dried up, leaving a glut of scrap on the market. One recycler believes the market has bottomed out, but prices will remain flat through the first quarter.

 Pellets Flake
 cents/lb cents/lb

PET Bottles (Clean)
Clear Post-Consumer 46-52 36-41
Green Post-Consumer 39-43 31-35

HDPE (Clean)
Natural Post-Consumer 31-34 24-26
Mixed Colors 24-26 15-17

 High Impact
 Black 27-30 18-21
 Natural 27-30 --
 General Purpose
 Black 18-20 5-7
 Natural 28-30 10-12

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 --
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gardner Publications, Inc.
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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Comment:Recycled prices will stay soft. (Recycle Pricing).
Author:Block, Debbie Galante
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Previous Article:PP goes up while other prices fall. (Pricing Update).
Next Article:Profile maker runs lean & fast. (Strategies).

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