Prices for post-consumer fibers have remained steady lately, and prices for both natural and color HDPE have climbed.
The national average of sorted residential papers (PS 56) sits unchanged at $31 per ton over the past month, compared with $56 per ton in November 2017. Mixed paper (PS 54) is still trading at a nominal average low of $3 to $4 per ton, but that’s down from $32 per ton one year ago. The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) remains constant, trading in the $71-per-ton range. However, this compares with $106 per ton in November 2017.
Meanwhile, high-grade papers remain strong. Sorted office paper (PS-37) is now trading nationally at $204 per ton, significantly higher than one year ago, when it traded for $152 per ton.
The national average price for baled aluminum cans continues at 69.00 cents per pound, a significant drop from the high of 76.81 cents per pound in June 2018. This is a return to year-ago level of 68.00 cents per pound.
The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars dropped 3 percent over the past month, currently at 15.17 cents per pound. This grade traded nationally at 16.19 cents per pound two months ago. One year ago, PET was trading at 14.09 cents per pound. During the past 12 months, the national average peaked at 17.11 cents per pound in June 2018.
The price of natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) inched upward this month. The current national average price is 38.81 cents per pound. With the exception of the West Coast and Pacific regions, where the average is in the 33.00-cents-per-pound range, the national average in all other regions is now in the 41.50-cents-per-pound range. This represents a significant increase over the past year – this grade traded at 30 cents per pound in November 2017.
Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE is up 14 percent over the past month, from 13.88 cents per pound early October to the current price of 15.78 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade traded at 16.91 cents per pound.
The national average price of Grade A film dropped by 3.5 percent over the past month, now trading at 8.75 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading higher, at 11.88 cents per pound. Meanwhile, the lower film grades remain unchanged, with Grade B film still trading at 2.63 cents per pound and Grade C film 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.