Recycled PET prices are perhaps a penny above where they were in June and seem to be going nowhere.

Recycled PET prices are perhaps a penny above where they were in June. “I wouldn’t say they are stable, more like flat,” said one reprocessor. “We never really got the usual summer volume.”

One factor affecting the RPET market is oversupply of virgin resin. Industry sources say customers are looking at cutting costs and increasing productivity more than at being “green.” Says one, “If there is a real economic reason to use post-consumer, then they do it. Or if there is some type of a program demanding post-consumer base, they will use it, but that’s it.”

All reprocessors are seeing competitive pressure from new recycling plants coming on line, although West Coast plants are suffering most. Established plants have to compete with new ones willing to sell for pennies less. Industry insiders report other factors, like Mexico dumping product on the West Coast. American plants can’t compete with their lower cost, “So many people are worried about their bottom line,” a recycler said. “The Mexicans have no established relationships, so they buy themselves into the market.”

As of now, customers have built up inventory, so prices seem unlikely to go up in the next quarter.

      RPET PRICES - SEPTEMBER 2013

                                         Pellets, ¢/lb    Flake, ¢/lb
PET Bottles (Clean)
  Clear Post-Consumer        72-75          55-62
  Green Post-Consumer       60-65          54-57