Market graph iconPrices for OCC and mixed paper have improved noticeably this month, even as UBC values have slipped by about 5%.

The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is up by about 22% in April. The price increased from about $32 in March to an average of $39 per ton this month. This compares with $134 per ton this time last year.

Mixed paper (PS 54) has also made a jump. This fiber grade is now averaging $8 per ton, up from around $5 per ton last month. The value is still well below historical averages, however. This time last year, for example, it was $71 per ton. 

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are level month-to-month, around $25 per ton. One year ago, the price was around $100 per ton. 

Lastly for fiber, sorted office papers (PS 37) are down again, from $204 to $193 per ton. This compares with an average $214 one year ago.

For MRFs, the news wasn’t as good for used beverage cans, or UBCs. The national average for aluminum cans dropped from 75.00 cents per pound in March to the current 71.56 cents. This grade sold for 123.00 cents per pound this time last year.

Sorted, baled steel cans are up $52 per ton. They increased from $192 last month to an average of $244 per ton this month. The price was $236 per ton one year ago.

By and large, scrap plastics are showing some slight price increases in April. 

The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars is now averaging 14.17 cents per pound, compared to 13.94 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are now trading as high as 17.50 cents per pound. This grade was trading at 33.42 cents one year ago.

Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs remains firm, now at an average of 68.72 cents per pound. This compares to 68.22 cents last month and 47.47 cents this time last year.

The national average for color HDPE is also up marginally this month. It is now averaging 14.41 cents per pound, compared to 13.44 cents last month and 25.75 cents one year ago.

Polypropylene (PP) is steady. PP is now trading at 8.19 cents per pound, compared to 8.13 cents last month. PP was 29.44 cents one year ago.

The price of Grade A film is up, now at 17.44 cents per pound, compared with 16.94 cents last month and 20.50 cents one year ago.

Grade B film is now 7.81 cents, compared to 7.94 cents last month. 

Finally, Grade C film remains at a low 0.50 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.

For a free trial to SMP’s Online Post-Consumer Pricing Index, visit the Recycling Markets website. You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at [email protected] or call 330-956-8911.

Van Dyk Recycling Solutions