Prices for some recycled resins have climbed along with their commodity counterparts in recent months.
Selling prices for clear, post-consumer PET; clear, post-industrial PVC; and all recycled grades of polyethylene each are up an average of 2 cents per pound since March, according to several buyers and suppliers contacted recently. These changes are reflected on this week's Plastics News recycled plastics pricing chart.
The PET listings incorporate a 5 cent-per-pound price drop that occurred between September and February. As a result, the new recycled PET prices show a net loss of 3 cents per pound since September.
Demand for clear, post-consumer PET remains strong in the packaging industry, although demand for green, post-consumer PET has waned in recent months, according to several suppliers. One Ohio-based supplier colorfully described green, post-consumer PET as ``the red-headed stepchild of the recycling industry.''
End-market growth for recycled PET has come from the container market, as demand in the fiber market has softened, a New York-based supplier said.
Prices for recycled PVC have climbed as the material continues to be mixed with virgin PVC for several pipe-related uses, suppliers said. Sales into flexible PVC applications also are up over last year's levels.
In PE, strong demand for housewares and other consumer products pushed recycled PE prices up, suppliers said. The recent 2 cent uptick is on top of a similar jump reported in early 2001.
Additional increases are expected for recycled grades of PET and PE by the end of the summer, as recycled markets play catch-up with price hikes in the virgin trade.
Suppliers added that pressure is building for higher prices on recycled polystyrene, although nothing tangible had surfaced through May. To date, prices for recycled polypropylene are expected to remain stable, apparently unaffected by the higher prices that virgin PP has seen in 2002.