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Report for Asia and Eastern Europe

Despite growing brand commitments and legislation towards minimum recycled content mandates, rPET and rPE markets in Europe and Asia have not been able to shake off the bearish sentiment resulting from the impact on trade of high inflation and mounting fears of recession.

Spot prices of bales have continued their downward trend in most Asian countries. However, there appears to be support for rPET in Indonesia owing to the combination of low collection rates and the many upcoming rPET food-grade plants spearheaded by, for example, Indorama, Dynapak-Coke and Alba. Another factor is Malaysia, where a hungry and large new player is importing rPET bales and flakes from Indonesia at premium prices, thereby competing with domestic recyclers for this highly sought-after feedstock.

Meanwhile, Singapore has launched a public consultation on a deposit refund scheme for PET bottles to be launched by 2024, making it the first country in the region to take this step. This will likely drive up the collection for recycling rate in Singapore to the highest level in the region, with a primary target set at 80%.

After having posted historical highs over the past two years, shipping container prices have seen a brutal decrease of late, although most routes remain at least twice as expensive as pre-COVID levels and thus still too high for most Asian recycled polymers to be attractive in the US and EU markets.