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.

Q1 Recycling Market Snapshot 2016

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The recycling market suffered through some relatively dark days in the opening months of 2016, as ferrous scrap metal kept the overall recycling market tamped down. Much like the weather, the market is showing signs of heating up as we approach the warmer days of summer.

The ferrous market displayed gains in January and led many to believe that the lows of November would quickly be forgotten. Pricing did not increase substantially going forward, with the February market largely stagnant and March experiencing only minimal gains.

Good news has emerged in April, however, as ferrous pricing is up around $40-$50 per ton in many of the domestic regions, reaching heights unseen since the summer of 2015. Industry experts do not feel this trend will continue, however, and predict that ferrous prices will hold relatively steady in the short term.

The early part of 2016 has been kinder to the nonferrous scrap market, but copper and aluminum scrap are still trading at relatively low prices.

Copper pricing underwent a volatile January, steadied in February before strengthening in March. The fundamentals for the scrap market remain unconvincing so expectations of price increases are few and far between.

Aluminum scrap grades have remained almost static in 2016, with most categories gaining only a few cents per pound across the year’s first three months. Much like copper, many market experts expect aluminum scrap to remain relatively stagnant with regards to pricing.

Though pricing for recovered paper has largely remained unchanged across the year’s first few months, the overall health of this sector of the recycling market is very strong. Cardboard in particular should remain a staple of the recycling industry going forward as massive spikes in online shopping continue to create demand for recovered paper.

Plastic scrap continued its long period  of weakness in the first quarter of ’16  as oil prices descended to levels last seen in late 2003. Demand for plastic scrap remains healthy, however.

 

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: Third Quarter 2014

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The recycling market enjoyed a period marked by stability over the last three months. Ferrous pricing remained unwavering while nonferrous metals and paper scrap witnessed minimum volatility.

A major influence on the scrap metal market in general, and on ferrous material specifically, is the ongoing transportation difficulty in the domestic sphere. Transportation issues for the scrap metal market abound and scrap dealers have mentioned the difficulty of procuring both freight and rail car for accrual purposes and for mill shipments. With less scrap being exported, more material is clogging the transportation infrastructure of the domestic market.

Ferrous scrap tags have remained relatively stagnant since June. Major grades like No. 1 HMS, busheling, shredded auto scrap and machine shop turnings have all remained sideways throughout the summer months in most US regions.

The long-awaited price increases rumored for September proved to be false as the market continued to show little sign of change. Industry analysts believe pricing for ferrous scrap should remain strong as mills begin to build inventory in anticipation of weather-related interruptions during the winter months.

Nonferrous scrap metal also enjoyed a period of relatively steady pricing throughout 3Q. Strengthening domestic and European industrial activity pushed nonferrous tags higher in July, but prices began retreating by September due to lower domestic and export demand.

Higher primary copper tags in July pushed scrap pricing upwards in spite of shaky demand. Pricing dipped in August before leveling off in September. Market observers seem resigned to continuing stable copper pricing throughout 4Q and into the beginning of 2015. Renewed Chinese thirst for copper scrap would wake the market from its long period of stagnation.

Aluminum has displayed more pricing stability than its traditionally more volatile red cousin. Scrap aluminum has traded in a a narrow band throughout 3Q and has largely remained unchanged since March.

Renewed supply concerns have emerged concerning aluminum sheet scrap as the thirst for the material in the auto market continues to expand. A growing number of automakers are transitioning to models constructed of aluminum, a trend that should continue to buttress scrap tags in the long-term.

Stainless steel scrap displayed strength in July before modest losses in August. September witnessed further price erosion as both 316 solids and 18-8 solids lost approximately $0.08 per pound. High prices of primary nickel helped offset low demand in July and August.

Though the market for SOP (sorted office paper) continued the overall trend of stability in 3Q, OCC (old corrugated containers) was not as lucky. Pricing for OCC dipped $5 per ton in August and dropped an additional $5 in September. SOP strengthened in July, gaining $5/ton, and has held steady over the past two months.

 

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: May 2013

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The recycling market traveled a bumpy road in May, with ferrous scrap prices continuing to lose ground while nonferrous displayed strength.

Ferrous scrap tags fell approximately $20 per gross ton across all major grades and regions in May. This marks the second straight month of price erosion. Most industry experts are expecting further decreases in June, a traditionally weak month for scrap. If those decreases come to fruition it will mark the first time since April 2012 that ferrous tags have slipped three consecutive months. The market weakness is largely tied to the lack of foreign demand, though gathering momentum in the housing and transportation industries may help alleviate some of this concern going forward.

Nonferrous scrap enjoyed a more positive month. Copper scrap prime grades jumped approximately $0.15 per pound from mid-April to the middle of this month. Tepid demand is still a concern, however, but the scarcity of material continues to buttress the market.

Aluminum scrap is also struggling on the demand side, but supply continues to remain low. Aluminum prices held stead from April’s levels.

The recovered paper market witnessed pricing decreases in May. OCC (old corrugated containers) dropped $5 per ton in the Southeast and Northeast while falling $10 in the Midwest and on the West Coast. SOP (sorted office paper) decreased $10 in the Southeast and Midwest and dropped $5 in the Northeast.

 

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: February 2013

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The recycling market was rather mixed in February with ferrous scrap the biggest loser. Nonferrous metals and paper enjoyed relatively stable months by comparison.

Ferrous scrap slid backwards in February across all domestic markets. Most grades slid between $10-$20 per gross ton from their January levels. Market participants point to an abundance of supply as the major influence behind the pricing drops. Supply of prime grades, shredder feed and unprepared were categorized as high but should thin out in the coming months. Expectations for a price bump in March abound, however, with most estimates of increases around the $20/GT mark.

Nonferrous scrap metals enjoyed a better month. Copper scrap tags inched upward slightly, averaging around $0.02-$0.04 per pound depending on the category. Aluminum scrap tags held steady.

Demand for copper alloys have increased recently and as a result more mills are buying scrap material.

The recovered paper market was rather quiet in February. Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) and SOP (sorted office paper) remained unchanged from January levels. This marks the third consecutive month of stagnant prices for OCC and the fifth consecutive month for SOP.

 

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: October 2012

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Another month, another round of ferrous scrap price decreases.

Pricing for ferrous scrap slipped an average of $50 per gross ton across all domestic regions in October continuing a trend of price degradation that began in late August.

Market analysts point to limited demand from domestic and offshore buyers as the main reason behind the pricing weakness. Steel mills continue to require very little scrap due to tepid demand from virgin steel producers and their end-use consumers. Global economic concerns also continue to plague the scrap complex. Inventory levels are thin, however, and ferrous scrap prices have most likely bottomed out.

Copper scrap pricing also witnessed decreases, though far less dramatic than that of ferrous. Aluminum also trended downward, albeit slightly.

These decreases in non-ferrous scrap will probably continue until the end of the year due to scrap dealers’ already massive inventories. Without a substantial increase in domestic or Chinese demand the non-ferrous slump looks set to continue.

Pricing for OCC (old corrugated containers) ticked upwards around $5 per ton. Pricing for sorted office paper, behaving much differently, dropped approximately $20 per ton.

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.

NPR story showcases one of the many ways recycling companies are attacking tough problems

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Photo Via: OhioMattressRecovery

Mattresses have long been one of the toughest household items to recycle. A company based in Tennessee has begun to address this problem in a unique way. Read the NPR story linked below.

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/18/144633725/new-recycling-company-springs-from-old-mattresses?ft=1&f=1001

What the EPA’s Incinerator Proposal Means to You

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In a move that may have significant implications for industrial manufacturers, the EPA proposed changes to the Clean Air Act standards for Boilers and Incinerators. The measure will be of particular concern to many who maintain industrial boilers and the few who operate solid waste incinerators.

While the measure has taken the form of a “proposal”, it signals the intent and thinking of the federal government with respect to its approach to industrial waste stream monitoring.

You can read the EPA’s version of the proposal as posted here on their site. We will be keeping a close eye on developments related to this proposal, so feel free to keep an eye on this blog.

The EPA continues to acknowledge that small percentage of boilers and incinerators will be affected by this proposed regulation. And while the “targets” are said to be a small part of the many currently in use, the important question is “Does your waste incinerator fall within that small percent?”

A good question, and one that deserves an honest answer from your operations team.

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.