Demand is still low and conditions are more or less as before. Recyclers’ warehouses are full, both in terms of input plastic waste and output recyclates. Plastics processors are seeing hardly any demand because of lower consumption levels resulting from the impact of higher interest rates. In response to this situation, there are reports of recyclers taking longer holidays and more downtime.
In general, prices for plastic waste are down as much as 15% as a consequence of this crisis. Prices for plastics recyclers are falling further despite warnings of increases on some virgin grades.
Most recyclers expect lower demand and low prices to continue into next year, at least for the first quarter. At the same time, Plastic Information Europe (PIE) reports a slowing in the price falls and suggests, for some grades at least, the lowest levels may have already been reached. The coming period will reveal whether these predictions are correct.
Even though prices are still falling, there are still commodities moving at quite good prices. Good-quality grades are moving and the demand is there. Stated prices on different markets may in no way reflect actual levels achieved; for instance, the market is reporting more stable PS prices compared to other grades like PP and ABS. If we look at the cheap virgin grades, prices of the recyclates are still under pressure, with declines caused by a large supply and only low demand.