In March, recyclers in Europe attempted to impose massive price premiums as a result of rising material and production costs, high demand and tightening availability. However, suppliers were only able to push through a fraction of the targeted price premiums due to buyer resistance. Nevertheless, most recycled polymer classes registered triple-digit price gains last month.
In April, recycled polymer prices have continued to rise, but to a much smaller extent. Recycled low density polyethylene film showed the highest increase with prices rising by €90 per metric ton. Most other classes and types saw gains of between €30-50/tonne. The sharply rising cost of primary material supported recyclers’ push for higher prices.
Higher virgin polymer prices and shortening availability also led to more converters seeking alternative supply in the form of recycled material. Recycled plastics demand was particularly robust across the consumer goods sector driven by brand owners’ sustainability programs.
There was sufficient material across most recycled plastics classes and types in April to fully meet demand from regular customers, although it was harder to find additional volumes required to serve new customers. High-quality material was, however, in shorter supply.
In May, strong demand and the rising cost of energy and production scrap will likely lead to a further round of price increases. The availability of high-quality production scrap and bottle scrap remains a major concern for recyclers.