Standard recyclate contract prices mostly trended down in August. Clear rLDPE grades yielded to the combined effects of declining virgin material prices and slack demand. Lower specified rLDPE materials and other grades were influenced by market distortions arising from China’s announcement of an import ban on certain types of plastics waste, leading to an abundant supply of feedstock, even if the scrap materials on offer did not always conform to quality requirements.

Reluctant demand meant that purchase costs declined and recyclate prices followed suit. By contrast, rPP prices were mostly stable and clear rPET regranulate and flakes could even gain slightly due to good demand.

With the end to the holiday season, demand will likely begin to normalise over the next few weeks. However, the stir created by China’s import ban announcement should add its own kind of undercurrent to the currently calm waters of the market.