Recycled PET resin pellets have declined in North America over the last few months into the second quarter of 2023.
On average, recycled PET resin prices have decreased by 8 cents per pound this quarter according to market sources in discussion with Plastics News.
Clear post-consumer pellets are down 10 cents and green post-consumer pellets are down 5 cents. These pricing changes are shown on this week's Plastics News resin pricing chart.
"Even with [recycled] rPET prices so low, buyers are not flooding back," said Gareth Lamb, a PET resin and recycling analyst at Czarnikow Group Ltd. "Some are waiting to see if rPET prices can stabilize and remain competitive over the next quarter before considering switching back to recycled.
"However, there is a huge preference for cheap, amply available, high-quality virgin resin," Lamb said.
The reduction of PET prices is expected to last through the summer with an anticipated increase in the second half of 2024. Prices for recycled PET had increased between mid-2022 to early 2023, they began to decline due to a lack of demand and price decreases for virgin resin.
"The reason for these drops is weak demand and oversupply, because summertime is peak season for virgin bottle-grade PET consumption, as well as very competitive import prices," said Melissa Wheeler, a markets reporter for ICIS.