The plastic export and recycling data may have revealed a better than expected performance in May, but with conditions remaining difficult for the market, plastic packaging recovery notes (PRNs) have experienced some sharp price rises in recent weeks.
Plastic prices are now at three times the levels seen at the start of the year. This is largely being attributed to the slowdown in the export market to China, with tougher enforcement leading to reduced tonnages. China’s General Administration of Customs announced a year-long campaign at the start of the year to cut the illegal smuggling of ‘foreign waste’. Now known as National Sword 2017, the crackdown has resulted in an increase in the number of inspections of containers, with all containers either x-rayed or undergoing visual inspections.
The Environment Agency will publish the Q2 quarterly recycling data on the National Packaging Waste Database at the end of July, which will provide a clearer picture of plastic exports, and the impact of National Sword.
Chris Taylor, Commercial Manager at Clarity Environmental, commented on the current situation: “Plastic prices have been rising steadily since the start of the year, but in recent weeks we have seen some sharp spikes. The prices are at odds with the largely strong performance in the Q1 data, and many believed we would start to see a softening of prices back in May. But a combination of higher recycling targets, together with nervous Chinese buyers fearful of prosecution, has kept prices high.
“With the next set of quarterly data due in July, our market-leading PRN procurement team will continue to assess and monitor the market, working with our members, other compliance schemes and direct registrants to help them choose the right PRN procurement solution for their business.”
Clarity has been buying and selling packaging recovery notes (PRNs) since our business started in 2002. We are now one of the largest and most experienced open market traders of PRNs. To talk to our team about buying or selling any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), contact us on 0845 129 7177.