|RECYCLED RESIN PRICES|
|PET Bottles (Clean)|
Recycled products are in hot demand as virgin resin prices continue to escalate. As a result, recycled PS prices have gone up 3¢ to 8¢ over the past year, and recycled PVC in some markets has risen up to 10¢/lb. Still, recycled material remains more affordable than virgin, but it is getting tougher and tougher to find. However, the outlook for recycled pricing and demand 2008 is as uncertain as the future state of the U.S. economy.
Recycled HDPE prices increased between 6¢ and 10¢/lb over the past year and remain strong. Says one recycler, “We were surprised this Fall that the usual slowdown didn’t happen. Virgin prices continued to rise and recycled resin prices followed along, though not at the same pace. What’s driving demand and pricing is exports—not just to Asia, but also to Europe and Latin America. With virgin being exported, the prices are higher and that has kept recycle demand and prices up. Scrap bale prices are about 8¢/lb higher than a year ago, but sellers of reprocessed pellets are not getting all of that 8¢ increase.”
Polypropylene regrind has also moved up steadily over the year, for a total of about 6¢/lb. Domestic demand is down, owing to weak housing and automotive sales, but exports are still strong, and they are driving prices upward.
Recycled PET prices are up 3¢ to 6¢ from last year. Even though a lot of new virgin capacity has come on stream and more is expected in the first half of 2008, export demand remains strong. Although a seasonal slowing of Chinese demand is normally expected to start in December, one reprocessor said last month, “We haven’t seen a slowdown yet. We’ve heard for years that the Chinese market is going to soften overall, but it appears that China will have purchased more material in 2007 than ever before.”