Prices for OCC and aluminum cans continue to take a beating, and natural HDPE is now experiencing a slump as well. On a brighter note, PET has remained steady.
The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) dropped another 10 percent over the past month, from an average $59.00 per ton to the current $53.00-per-ton range. This compares with $88.00 per ton one year ago. Most high-grade papers also dropped 5 to 7 percent over the past month.
Mixed paper (PS 54) continues to have a negative value. It’s currently trading at a national average of negative $2.50 per ton.
The value of sorted residential paper (PS 56) continues to drop’ the material is now trading in the $23.00-per-ton range, compared with $27.00 per ton last month. This common grade traded in the range of $40.00 to $45.00 per ton one year ago.
The national average price for baled aluminum cans is also down again over the last month, from 56.19 cents per pound to the current low of 53.94 cents per pound. This represents a significant drop from the high of 72.50 cents per pound one year ago.
On the plastics side, the national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars dropped slightly over the past month, from 15.16 cents per pound this time last month to the current 15.02 cents per pound. A year ago, PET was trading at 14.20 cents per pound.
The price of natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs dropped drastically again this month. The current national average price is now 26.63 cents per pound, compared with 34.81 cents this time last month. This latest price is lower than average levels of one year ago, when it was trading at 29.97 cents per pound early February 2018. The current low price range was last seen in summer 2017, when it was in the range of 26 to 27 cents per pound.
By contrast, the national average price of color HDPE remains comparable to last month, still trading at 14.56 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading at 16.75 cents per pound.
The national average price of PP post-consumer materials inched up marginally over the past month. It is now at 12.81 cents per pound, compared to 12.38 cents per pound in early February. One year ago, this material traded nationally at 9.44 cents per pound.
The national average price of several post-consumer film grades is marginally up over the past month. Grade A film is now trading in the 9.31-cents-per-pound range, compared to 8.75 cents per pound last month. Grade B film is now trading at 3.50 cents per pound, compared with 2.59 cents per pound last month. Grade C film remains unchanged at 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.
More stories about markets
- Upward momentum continues in PET bale pricing
- OCC, PET show minor price movements this month
- Paper producers reflect on OCC prices, upcoming plants