The value of OCC increased by 62% over the past month, reaching its highest level in 20 months. Meanwhile, curbside metal prices have taken a dive.
The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) surged to about $73 per ton, compared with $45 per ton last month. The OCC grade was trading at about $53 one year ago.
The last time OCC traded above the $70-per-ton level was in August 2018, when it averaged $71 per ton.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are still trading in the range of $10 to $11 per ton.
Mixed paper (PS 54) remains negative but shows recent price increases. The grade is currently at a national average price of negative $1.88 per ton, compared with the negative $2.50 level it has been at for the past year.
The national average price for aluminum cans is down again this month, now at 40.13 cents per pound, compared with 47.81 cents per pound last month. This compares with 56.13 cents per pound this time last year.
Steel cans dropped substantially, now at a national average $97 per ton, compared with an average $120 per ton last month and $169 per ton one year ago.
On the plastics side, the national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars is 9.25 cents per pound, down from 10.47 cents per pound last month. This price compares with 15.54 cents per pound one year ago.
The natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) price dropped again this month, now at 33.44 cents per pound, compared with 37.13 cents this time last month. This grade traded at 21.88 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of color HDPE also dropped this month, now trading at 4.28 cents per pound, compared with 7.38 cents per pound last month and 13.56 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of polypropylene remains constant at 5.69 cents per pound, compared with 10.88 cents per pound one year ago.
The Grade A film price is slightly lower this month, falling from 8.88 cents to 8.25 cents per pound. Grade B film is 4.25 cents per pound, compared to 4.31 cents last month. Grade C film remains unchanged at 1.38 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
- Curbside bale values continue to shoot up
- Northeast MRFs report 120% boost in value of a blended ton
- Paper mills foresee higher OCC prices this year