The past few months have seen significant upticks in the value of recovered materials.
Recovered paper markets have been volatile in recent weeks. A global shortage of bales at a time of rising demand for finished paper and paperboard led foreign and domestic recycling mills to boost prices at the start of the year to a five-year high. The value of recovered fiber rose again in early February, by $20 to $25 per ton, only to go up again at mid-month by another $20 per ton, thus pushing to near-record-high levels. Some market observers suggest current pricing will hold for the coming weeks due to supply tightness, then slowly slip back from the peak.
The value of recovered steel grew handsomely in the first weeks of the year, and prices have held firm as peddlers and scrap processors try to find more metal to sell domestically and offshore.
In a similar vein, scrap aluminum can markets have experienced seven consecutive months of price improvement, with bales now being sold for about 73 cents per pound (truckload quantity picked up from a supplier).
And the price paid for recovered HDPE plastic containers skyrocketed a whopping 5 cents per pound in recent days. PET pricing also improved (up about 1 cent per pound for March).