OCC prices have experienced a slight uptick lately, but mixed paper remains at rock-bottom values. Meanwhile, recovered PET and natural HDPE markets remain stronger.
Over the past months, the national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) has risen a nominal 2 percent from $69.00 to the current $70.63 per ton. In August 2017, OCC was trading in the $174-per-ton range.
Over the past month, the national average of sorted residential papers (PS 56) remains unchanged at $31 per ton. In August 2017, this grade traded in the $104-per-ton range. Mixed paper (PS 54) remains at an average low of $1.56 per ton, down from $71 per ton one year ago.
Meanwhile, the average price of high-grade papers continues to rise. Sorted office paper (PS 37) is trading nationally at $199 per ton, compared with $166 in August 2017. Sorted white ledger (PS-40) has reached $289 per ton nationally, compared with $223 per ton one year ago.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars continues on a steady trend, currently at 16.71 cents per pound. This represents an increase of 6 percent over the past year, when it traded nationally at 15.72 cents per pound in August 2017. This also represents a 24 percent recovery over the past eight months, when the national average price dipped to 13.51 cents per pound in December 2017.
The price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs remains unchanged over the past month. The current national average price is 38.81 cents per pound, 42 percent higher than one year ago, when it was trading at 27.31 cents per pound early August 2017.
Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE also remains unchanged over the past month, currently trading at 14.56 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade traded 6 percent lower, at 13.69 cents per pound. It should be noted that color HDPE did rise significantly during that period, reaching 18.19 cents per pound nationally in April 2018; however, it gradually returned to the current levels over the past four months.
The national average price of post-consumer Grade A film dropped 25 percent over the past month, from 11.66 cents per pound to the current 8.69 cents per pound. Meanwhile, Grade B film is still trading at 3.74 cents per pound, while Grade C film remains at a nominal 1.44 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.