Exports in March tell a grim story for plastics

Exports in March tell a grim story for plastics

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

In part due to the ongoing effects of the tightening scrap market due to Operation Green Fence, exports of some recovered materials, notably plastics, were down sharply in March.

The volume of plastic scrap exported in March 2013, at 336.51 million pounds, was down steeply — 10.0 percent — from its February 2013 level. When matched against its March 2012 position, the volume of exports was also down precipitously, by 17.0 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in March, at 21.36 cents per pound, was up 6.1 percent from its February 2013 standing. When compared to its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down, however, by 2.8 percent.

Through the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, at 1.08 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was down 4.5 percent from its 2012 year-to-date (YTD) figure. And, at 20.18 cents per pound, the average price through Q1 2013 was down 6.5 percent from its Q1 2012 standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports through March 2013 were 4.92 million metric tons, a steep 28.3 percent YOY decrease from 2012. At $164 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper in March was also down, though not as sharply, 4.7 percent when compared to its March 2012 mark.

Regarding ferrous scrap, the 5.39 million metric tons exported through Q1 2013 resulted in a 0.8 percent YOY decrease. Too, at $420 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was down by 9.1 percent.

Lastly, the 1.01 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported in Q1 2013 equated to a 12.9 percent YOY decrease from Q1 2012. And, at 79 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through March 2013 was up 1.3 percent when compared to its Q1 2012 standing.

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