Exports of recyclable materials down in 2012

Exports of recyclable materials down in 2012

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

At 4.43 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported in 2012 was down 5.4 percent over the 4.69 billion pounds exported in 2011. At 21.05 cents per pound, the weighted average price for exported plastics in 2012 was down, as well, by 5.7 percent from the full-year 2011 standing of 22.32.

The picture was rosier if simply looking at the last month of the year, however. The volume of plastic scrap exported in December, at 374.40 million pounds, rose by 1.8 percent from its November figure. When matched against its December 2011 position the volume of exports was also up, by 8.6 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in December, at 19.40 cents per pound, was down 4.4 percent from its November 2012 standing. And when compared to its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 10.3 percent.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports for 2012 were 20.13 million metric tons, a 4.3 percent YOY decrease from the 21.03 million metric tons of recovered paper exported in 2011. At $168 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper in December was down 6.2 percent when compared to its December 2011 mark.

Regarding ferrous scrap, the 21.39 million metric tons exported for 2012 resulted in a 12.1 percent YOY decrease. At $441 per metric ton the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also down, by 5.6 percent.

Lastly, the 4.49 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through 2012 equated to a 4.9 percent YOY decrease from the 4.73 billion pounds exported in 2011. And, at 78 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap in December was down 9.3 percent when compared to its December 2011 standing.

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