Market Update for the prime, recycled, and scrap plastics as of June 11, 2022
Prime virgin prices are from China’s major virgin polymer websites in Renminbi RMB. The exchange rate is 1 US dollar= Chinese Yen at 6.7091.
New York oil prices closed at $120.67 per barrel, dropping from the $124 level on the US rising consumer prices and Shanghai reimposing lockdowns after detecting 11 Covid cases.
Prime resin prices remain indifferent to soaring crude prices as market players are skeptical about domestic demand recovery, the global economic environment, and the political landscape. Although prices remain stable compared with two weeks ago, there is some loss of momentum in commercial activity. ABS, PS, PP, PC, PET, and PVC have some gains in prices ranging from $15 per ton for PVC to $150 per ton for PET. Generally, these high prices are driven and supported by rising feedstock costs. The worst performed resin is PA66; its price has been sliding since China started producing PA 66 a few months ago. Market participants await the development of the Covid and global economic recovery before committing themselves to purchase.
Recycled material prices have not been following the prime price hikes. Usually, it takes a while to reflect the spikes. As China has huge production capacities for PVC, PET, PE, and PE, recycled materials of the mentioned resins will never be competitive in prices. Currently, with prime prices shown on the above chart, prices are as much as half of the US and Europe. Over the last couple of years, rarely recycled pellets could be marketed to China. There have been offers from Europe recently, but prices are too high, or the quality is poor. For engineering recycled materials, the situation is the same; western countries are doing better on prices. Most recycled materials imported into China rely on South East Asia. Nylon, POM, PC, and PMMA prices have softened since Shanghai’s pandemic lockdown. Hopefully, the market will improve depending on the relaxation of government’s Covid policy.
Scrap materials are getting less and less nowadays amid shipping lines declined accepting waste shipment. It is a recycling industry’s concern if sorted plastic waste is not allowed to export. How can the Globe increase its recycling rate and reduce waste to the environment if waste is in a country that might not have the infrastructure to sort and further process to recycled pellets or regrinds for different applications. Policymakers might want to punish unscrupulous operators, but legitimate recyclers are negatively impacted too!