- Natural pellets fall 8 cents on day
- Bale supply "moving slow": sources
The US recycled high-density polyethylene markets saw 3-8 cents/lb decreases on the day Dec. 1 despite continued demand strength for recycled materials.
Mixed-color post-consumer HDPE bales in the Midwest spot market fell three cents on the day to be assessed at 42 cents/lb, based on market talk of pricing at that level. Prices have fallen over 34% since hitting a Platts high of 64 cents/lb in early September.
Prices for natural post-consumer bales in the same market saw a day-on-day decrease of five cents/lb on the day at 75 cents/lb, a conservative move based on pricing talked at or below that value for December loading.
Downstream, natural recycled HDPE pellets for blowmolding applications saw the greatest daily decline, falling eight cents/lb on the day to be assessed at 130 cents/lb, based on market talk of material sold at that level.
Prices for natural bales and pellets have fallen 37% and 26%, respectively, since late August.
Sources noted expectations of further downward price pressure in the coming weeks as "HDPE supply is really backed up and moving slow."
However, even as the post-consumer HDPE markets continue to soften, participants said falling prices were not caused by a lack of demand, but rather trends in the virgin HDPE markets.
"Those not needing PCR (post-consumer resin) are heavily driving prices downward as they compare against virgin," said a Midwest recycler. "There’s still a strong demand so supply is likely to shift to those needing or committed to PCR."
US HDPE blowmolding was assessed unchanged on the week at $1,587-$1,609/mt (72-73 cents/lb) FAS Houston basis, flat on the week, based on last talked railcar price levels talked at 69 cents/lb and higher on the week.
Prices for prime HDPE resin have fallen approximately 11% since August 2021.