The price of recovered corrugated fiber has taken another significant dive this month, but mixed paper is holding relatively steady.
The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) took a big drop, from $75 per ton last month to the current national average of $55 per ton. The OCC grade was trading at around $27 one year ago.
OCC has been on a roller coaster ride of late. Starting in February, when the coronavirus pandemic began significantly impacting North American industry, the OCC price began rising, reaching a high of $107 per ton in May. But then, in June, it dropped 30%. This month’s price is down another 27%.
Sorted residential paper (PS 56) are up 18 percent at an average $27 per ton, compared with $23 per ton last month.
Mixed paper (PS 54) is currently at a national average price of $11 per ton, compared to $12 per ton last month.
Sorted office paper (PS 37) dropped again this month. It is now trading at $139 per ton, compared with an average of $150 per ton last month. But it is still higher than the $109 level it was at 12 months ago.
Looking at materials beyond paper, the national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans is relatively unchanged this month, at 39.19 cents per pound. That’s compared with 55.38 cents per pound this time last year.
Sorted, baled steel cans dropped slightly, now at a national average $79.25 per ton, compared with an average $81.75 per ton last month and $141.88 per ton one year ago.
The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars dropped by 2% this month. The price is currently at 7.13 cents per pound, down from 7.27 cents per pound this time last month. This compares with 15.03 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs remains relatively unchanged this month, at an average 36.50 cents per pound, compared with 20.47 cents one year ago.
The national average price of color HDPE is up slightly again this month. It is now trading at 3.71 cents per pound, compared to 3.68 cents per pound this time last month and 11.28 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of polypropylene (PP) remained steady at 3.69 cents per pound this month. PP traded at 12.44 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of Grade A film remains unchanged this month, at 7.00 cents per pound.
Grade B film dropped slightly, from 4.00 cents per pound to 3.81 cents, compared with 4.31 cents one year ago.
Grade C film is 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
- Greif forecasts average $48-per-ton OCC cost this year
- OCC and mixed paper prices jump this month
- Plastic reclaimers grapple with ‘rock bottom’ pricing