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Record PRN Trading Month for Clarity

Our PRN trading team is used to being busy in January, with the compliance year overlap, but January 2016 broke all previous trading records for a single month.

Chris Taylor, Commercial Manager for Clarity Environmental, said: “Most PRN markets experienced volatility throughout 2015, and many buyers waited for a price softening that never really appeared. But with compliance finally sought in January, we traded in exceptionally high levels in all grades throughout the month.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate the team on their strong work throughout January, ensuring our customers received an excellent service, and competitive prices. We have so far continued to see brisk trading in February, with the high prices of 2015 causing buyers to evaluate their 2016 stance earlier than usual. There has, however, been softening across most grades since the data was released earlier this month.”

Provisional packaging waste recycling data for the final quarter of 2015 was published by the Environment Agency this month.

Released a month earlier than expected, but still to be validated, the data revealed that despite the volatility of 2015, most of the recycling grades have comfortably hit their targets. The data shows a large boost for paper, plastics and steel in the final weeks of 2015, which saw a period of prolonged volatility in the PRN market. Most grades have good tonnages carried forward to the 2016 compliance year resulting in the price softening.

Chris added that paper, wood and recovery were the most surprising markets of 2015: “Prices rose sharply in Q4 from their long term administrative levels, largely as a result of the shortfall in recovery which is caused by the lack of accredited PRN suppliers. But with large amounts of recovery coming to market in December, and the continued growth in numbers of accreditations, we should see situations revert to normal, or near normal, in 2016.”

In Q4, plastic over-performed the previous quarter by around 60,000T, allowing a further 35,000T to be carried forward to 2016. With consultations pending to lower the plastic target for 2016, plastic producers should find it easier to comply this year. Aluminium and steel complied fairly comfortably, against the odds, and glass looked comfortable all year.

This year for the first time, packaging recycling data will be published on a monthly basis, under a new voluntary system. Launched earlier in the month, the Environment Agency said that it expects the increase in frequency of packaging data reporting to improve transparency and ease volatility in the packaging recovery note (PRN) markets.

Chris says it remains to be seen how useful this monthly data will be: “There is no obligation for suppliers to update their numbers, and in this first month less than half the tonnage has been uploaded across most of the materials.  We believe that if we’re going to go ahead with monthly reporting, and for it to be of any real use, it must be compulsory or the market data is open to manipulation.”

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.

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