North American prices for recycled high density polyethylene pellets declined in the second quarter of 2023.
On average, recycled HDPE resin prices were down an average of 15 cents per pound for the quarter, according to market sources in discussion with Plastics News.
Natural post-consumer pellets were down 24 cents, mixed color post-consumer pellets declined 15 cents and mixed colors industrial pellets dropped by 8 cents. These changes are being shown on this week's PN resin pricing chart.
"These are challenging times," a materials supplier in the Southeast U.S. said. "The whole dynamic of the market has changed, probably from a year ago.
"A year ago, it was the exact opposite. …You had scarcity in the market, and now you have plenty," the supplier said.
An overall decrease in demand for recycled HDPE has resulted in a surplus of material. Prior to the second quarter decline, prices for recycled HDPE had increased between mid-2022 and early 2023 as a result of strong demand.
"Recycled polyethylene has had so much going for it over the last few years because there was tightness in the market," a resin distributor in Texas said. "You had COVID and all the disposable products, and a lot of that demand has just dried up."