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The markets have had quite the rally in recent weeks. Consequently, additional flows of recyclables found their way into the market, impacting day-to-day trade in a positive way. For most of this year, trade in general has been fairly reasonable but slower than usual, so this uptick was welcomed with open arms. 

Contrary to the expectations of many stakeholders and looking at the increase in the market, the level of additional units was lower and felt rather short-lived. This is a clear indication that availability of recyclable units remains tight and generation continues to be slow. Some inventories were cleared with the market at higher levels but this was more the exception than the rule. 

Demand for copper remains strong within the Benelux while export markets continue to push with strong numbers on traditional commodities; notably, India and Pakistan are gaining a stronger foothold.  

Demand for aluminium has improved over recent weeks but most recyclers are monitoring what ferrous pricing will do as this remains a strong driver of non-ferrous unit availability in general. Order books from local industry are slowly improving but remain satisfactory at best. 

Currently the talk of the town within the Benelux is the fact that, as of March 31, recyclers are no longer allowed to pay cash for recyclable units. This could reroute units into neighbouring countries in the short term. Also worthy of note is that, with the stronger markets, recyclers are preferring local outlets over more exotic destinations owing to shorter supply lines, as well as faster outturns, settlements and payments.