Prices for recovered papers and HDPE have taken a beating over the past month, although aluminum and PET values have been more stable.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) dropped again, now trading in the $18-per-ton range, compared with $23 per ton last month. This is a return to April 2018 levels, when this common grade was trading at $18 per ton. This grade was trading in the $103-per-ton range in March 2017.
The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) dropped another $11 per ton over the past month, from an average $52 per ton in March to the current $41-per-ton range. This compares with the $155-per-ton highs of April 2017.
Mixed paper (PS 54) continues to trade at a national average negative low of negative $2 per ton.
Most high-grade papers also dropped another 5 to 10 percent over the past month.
The national average price for baled aluminum cans remains constant, trading in the 56.00-cents-per-pound range. This price remains low when compared with the levels of around 70.00 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars remained constant over the past month, now at 15.54 cents per pound. This time last month, the average price was 15.11 cents per pound. This time last year, PET was trading at an equivalent level of 15.28 cents per pound.
The price of natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs continued to drop this month. The national average price is now 21.88 cents per pound, compared with 26.66 cents this time last month. One year ago, the national average for this grade was 35.69 cents per pound. The current price range is now the lowest since February 2016, when average national prices were in the 22.00-cents-per-pound range. By comparison, highs of 52.69 cents per pound occurred in October 2014.
The national average price of color HDPE also dropped a cent over the past month, now trading at 13.56 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading at 18.19 cents per pound.
The national average price of polypropylene materials dropped over the past month, now at 10.88 cents per pound, compared with 12.75 cents per pound in mid-March. One year ago, this material traded nationally at 9.50 cents per pound.
The national average price of several post-consumer film grades is up marginally again this past month. Grade A film is now trading in the range of 9.81 cents per pound, compared to 9.31 cents per pound last month. This grade traded at 11.41 cents per pound one year ago. Grade B film is now trading at 3.13 cents per pound, compared to 2.75 cents per pound last month. Grade C film is 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
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- OCC, PET show minor price movements this month
- Paper producers reflect on OCC prices, upcoming plants