Q2-Q3 Recycling Market Snapshot 2016

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The overall recycling market remains robust for the manufacturing industry, though ferrous scrap has underwent a period of weakness in the second and third quarters of 2016. Nonferrous scrap has displayed a distinct lack of volatility, while recovered paper has emerged as the healthiest slice of the recycling pie.

The ferrous market enters Q4 in the midst of a slow decline from the gains of early 2016. Most ferrous categories witnessed $45-50 per gross ton increases in April on the heels of a horrible winter. May continued the positive momentum before a slow retreat pushed pricing to its lowest tags since March. The falling prices mirror the July-September trend of 2015, and further decreases of $20-30 are expected in October. Many experts project that October will be the bottom, which would also keep in line with last year’s precedent. Oversupply remains the single biggest factor holding the ferrous market back.

The nonferrous scrap market has been much more stable than the ferrous sector, though not without a few bumps in the road.

Copper pricing has seen periods of upward and downward movement in Q2 and Q3, but per pound prices for most major categories have remained within a relatively narrow $0.20 band. Current pricing sits almost exactly where it was at the beginning of April. The long-term outlook for copper scrap is stable, albeit one of limited strength. Copper consumers remain well supplied and primary copper production continues to increase. These factors temper the overall forecast for the red metal.

Like copper, aluminum scrap grades hold present-day prices very similar to those of early Spring. After strengthening a bit in the dog days of summer, aluminum tags have retreated ever so slightly across the past two months. Pricing may remain haggard in the winter months due to decreasing export opportunities and the impact of seasonal weather on collection rates.

The recovered paper market was the big winner, however, enjoying substantial gains throughout Q2 and Q3. Mill pricing for cardboard (OCC) jumped an average of $40 per ton across the six-month period, while SOP pricing witnessed slightly more modest gains of around $30. Many analysts project a strong long-term outlook for the recovered paper market due in large part to the impact of online shopping.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

Recycling Market Snapshot: Autumn 2015

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It has been another busy year for us here at InStream thanks to all of our wonderful customers. To date we have recycled over 68 million pounds of material for our clients in 2015. We value working with such diligent customers who responsibly dispose of these materials, and we look forward to meeting all of our clients’ waste stream management needs in the future.

As we enter into the heart of Autumn it’s time to take a look at what has been a very strange period in the recycling market, particularly for scrap metal.

The ferrous market limped into Q4 on the heels of three straight months of decreasing prices. Market watchers were caught by surprise when that trend not only continued in October, but actually became even more drastic. Pricing for most major ferrous categories dropped between $50 and $60 per gross ton across the United States.

Though there are numerous factors behind this period of price deterioration, the most important are low commodity prices worldwide, the strong dollar and its effect on importation, China’s slowing economy and very low domestic steel production.

Sadly there is still no sign of recovery for scrap steel, and industry experts are expecting further price erosion in November of around $10-20 per ton. Until domestic steel production increases or cheap material from foreign suppliers dries up, demand for domestic steel scrap will remain low and pricing will continue to suffer.

Nonferrous metals have fared poor, as well. Copper scrap has been in a slow decline since the middle of the year and the fundamentals for the red metal offer little hope that price increases will emerge anytime soon. Even so, copper remains the surest bet in the scrap metal market.

Aluminum scrap has fared even worse than copper in 2015, with most major grades losing about $0.20 per pound since the year began. Prices are not expected to rise in the short term, either, with waning year-end demand further pressuring aluminum tags downward.

The recycled paper market has also been rather strange this year, with OCC (old corrugated containers) prices trending higher over the past six months while SOP (sorted office paper) prices trend downward. OCC pricing has remained constant since August, when pricing reached its highest level since one year earlier. This is astounding when compared to SOP which is currently fetching its lowest prices since December of 2013!

Plastic scrap pricing remains very low. The plastic market is largely tied to the price of oil which continues to dip lower due to increased production worldwide and lower demand from China. While this is good news for the consumer at the gas pump and purchasing agents buying packaging material, it does mean that plastic scrap has far less value than it did in the past.

 

Disclaimer – Prices and market related information shown has been obtained by many sources across many commodity markets.  InStream has not verified the information beyond our sources. Information is based on assumptions and projections based on current market drivers. This information is provided as a service and InStream is not recommending action based on the market information provided and is not responsible for the direction of markets and/or results based on the data provided.

We’re proud to be in an area defined by manufacturing growth

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Forbes has listed the Greenville area as tied with Knoxville as the best city for jobs this Spring. With an explosion of job growth in the automotive and aeronautical industries in the recent past it’s no wonder that our cozy home is making some noise in the national media.

Growth in manufacturing means more industrial waste streams and we at InStream look forward to helping our current and future clients tackle the problems that growth can create.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/03/13/the-best-and-worst-cities-for-jobs-this-spring-2/

US manufacturing rising despite overseas decline

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Bloomberg writes an interesting post contrasting the rise of US manufacturing despite the declines in overseas markets. While the signs are not free of concern, the output and expectation for US manufacturing appears to be relatively positive.
As is usually the case, with increased manufacturing output comes the demand to adequately manage the waste stream.  With an increase in output comes another opportunity of increase, revenue from recovery of reclyclable waste stream. Be sure to include waste stream management in your own manufacturing forecast.