Our monthly markets update shows OCC is still selling at record levels, and other fiber grades have seen notable upticks. Plastics is more of a mixed big, however.
Prices for old corrugated containers (PS 11) continue on a high, steady trend, currently sitting at a national average of $180.00 per ton. This price level, which was also seen in July, represents an all-time high over the past 10 years. The previous high was seen in August 2011, when the national average reached $173.00 per ton, or 4 percent lower than the current level.
Meanwhile, news and mixed-paper grades continue to rise.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56, formerly PS 8 News) was trading at a national average of $92.19 at the end of July, up 17 percent from June 2017. Mixed Paper (PS 54) national average is now $75.00 per ton, up 22 percent from the June 2017 level of $61.25.
The current national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars has remained steady over the past two months, currently trading at 15.60 cents per pound. One year ago, this common curbside grade was trading 42 percent lower, at 10.95 cents per pound.
The HDPE grades also continue on a steady trend. The post-consumer natural HDPE national average from curbside collection programs is now a 27.31 cents per pound, up 3 percent from June 2017 levels. Meanwhile, the color HDPE grade has risen 10 percent from the level of 13.00 cents per pound seen in June, to the current 14.31 cents per pound.
However, over the past month, the prices of post-consumer film grades have dropped. The national average for Grade A film is now 16.25 cents per pound, down 10 percent from the 18.00 cents per pound the material was fetching in June. Grade B Film has dropped 22 percent since June, from 8.00 cents per pound to the current national average of 6.56 cents per pound.
These prices are as reported on the Secondary Materials Pricing (SMP) Index. This pricing represents what is being paid for post-consumer recyclable materials in a sorted, baled format, picked up at most major recycling centers.