Prices are down for RPET, and that trend is likely to continue throughout the rest of the year.
“On the West Coast, bales are as low as I have ever seen them in the last four years—16¢/lb. It all comes down to China dumping material,” said to one recycler. While demand is said to be healthy, there is a lot of material, recycled and virgin, to choose from. Virgin prices are down as well. “Prices have been on a continuous slide in the last two months with no end in sight,” noted this recycler.
Chinese demand has more impact on the West Coast than on the East Coast, but it still has a broad effect . If recyclers can’t find markets on the West Coast, they start looking east, says one analyst. In the accompanying table, the low end of the price range for clear pellets is for the West Coast.
Prices in the east are going down too. “Looking at the calendar, we know that seasonal packaging markets, for the most part, are over. Summer is gone, and warm-weather beverage recycling product is gone. We are going into the weakest quarter traditionally. I expect that we are lamenting low prices now, but we will be wishing for October prices in another month,” one reclaimer said.
The RPET market is not expected to change much in 2016. “From a post-consumer standpoint, the industry is going to continue to try to utilize a higher percentage of a bale to get better yields. Competition is still going to be the same in the export market. We are still going to have the situation where you have more supply than demand.”
Predictions for the end of 2015 are for RPET prices to be flat or lower than at present.