For the Quarter Ending March 2023
The market for Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (R-HDPE) increased throughout the first quarter of 2023 due to optimum demand from downstream industries, namely packaging, pipes, and textile, resulting in higher prices. The primary reason for the increase was the healthy demand fundamentals in the domestic market. The oscillating prices of the feedstock Ethylene also played a part in the price inclination, supported further by the volatile Crude oil market. Local R-HDPE producers were operating smoothly as there was tight availability of material due to the rising orders for Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (R-HDPE). Overall, the R-HDPE market in the first quarter of 2023 showed a positive trajectory, with prices hovering at USD 2716/MT FOB Houston.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (R-HDPE) market in Asia experienced mixed emotions, with prices fluctuating and turbulence in the upstream crude oil market affecting production costs. However, the downstream market showed a substantial appetite for purchases, and the packaging industry had stabilized at a high level, creating excitement for downstream procurement. Although the market was optimistic due to the strong supply and demand sides, the overall market environment was favorable. Despite these supportive factors, the market experienced a brief downtrend due to sufficient inventories in the area. Overall, the Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (R-HDPE) market in Asia during the first quarter of 2023 exhibited fluctuations.
The Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (R-HDPE) market in Europe faced significant pressure in the first quarter of 2023, primarily due to weak demand and oversupply. Lower purchasing activity and weak end-use consumption from the packaging industry led to production curtailment as producers tried to offset the effects of limited buyer appetite. Local Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (R-HDPE) manufacturers were also reluctant to produce products due to ample inventory levels, which met consumer demand. The general weakness in other packaging industries further affected customers' attitudes toward the R-HDPE market. As a result, the outlook for R-HDPE in the first quarter of 2023 appeared to be bleak, with prices remaining around USD 1404/MT FOB Hamburg throughout March.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The Recycled High–Density Polyethylene market was contrary to those of the Asian and European markets. When it comes to the U.S., in the month of October, the price of this product decreased, which was caused by the diminished demand for this product for use in plastics, furniture, and stationery manufacturing processes. However, from November onwards, prices started to increase as downstream businesses started procuring more of this product for this product than virgin HDPE for the production of end–products. Hence, HDPE recyclers also ramped up their production activities to meet the downstream demand, and suppliers, as well as sellers, were also procuring more of this product to boost sales and gain profits.
This quarter, the market sentiment for recycled high-density polyethylene was mixed in the Asia-Pacific region. In October, this product's price in China increased by almost 1% per MT and remained stable. The increased demand for this product for downstream processing by companies that make furniture, stationery, and plastics was the cause of the price increase. However, as governments reintroduced COVID-19 curbs, which hampered downstream production activities and resulted in average interest in this product, cost decreased in December. Due to the low demand for this product for use in downstream processing, R-HDPE prices in India were consistently falling. The prices of this product were also affected by the bearish crude oil market this quarter.
The price of recycled high-density polyethylene continued to fall in Europe. This quarter's bearish crude oil market had an impact on this product's prices. Because downstream businesses in Germany were more concerned about rising energy costs as a result of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, this product was receiving average demand. As a result, there were ample stocks of this product that were not traded. Because they were receiving better offers for virgin HDPE, packaging companies preferred it to this product. For the same reason, upstream companies restricted their production activities.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
The market of R-HDPE in North America experienced a slight decline in this quarter. Downstream companies were showing modest interest, as they preferred virgin HDPE over this product for their manufacturing activities, and so, at times, there was an oversupply of this product in the market. However, most of the time, the prices of this product remained stable because of the stability in the demand-supply ratio. The companies involved in recycling HDPE had shut down their plants owing to the summer season. At the end of this quarter, the price of Recycled High–Density Polyethylene in the U.S. stood at USD 2,210 per MT for natural pellets grade on FOB–Houston basis.
Recycled High-Density Polyethylene was witnessing mixed market sentiments in the Asia–Pacific region this quarter. In India, the price of this product grew by almost 5% per MT from the end of the previous quarter. The growth in price was attributed to the enhanced demand for this product from plastics, furniture, and stationery manufacturing companies for downstream processing. When it comes to China, the prices of this product were seeing a constant decline, as both upstream, as well as downstream companies had to completely stop or lower their production activities because of uncertainties in power supply. The crude oil market, which was bearish this quarter, too did influence the prices of this product. As on 30th September 2022, the price of recycled High-Density Polyethylene for blow molding grade stood at USD 885 per MT on FOB–Tianjin basis.
In Europe, recycled High–Density Polyethylene witnessed a steep fall in costs from July to September. This product was getting average demand from downstream companies, as they were more concerned about the uncertainties in the energy supplies because of the ongoing Russia–Ukraine conflict, and so there were good volumes of this product in the inventories without getting traded. Packaging companies preferred virgin HDPE over this product as they were getting better offers for that product. Upstream companies had to modify their production activities as energy prices were soaring. So, this product ended this quarter at USD 1,755 per MT for light pellets grade on FOB – Hamburg basis.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In North America, R-HDPE prices have witnessed mixed sentiments throughout the second quarter of 2022. In the first half, stable offtakes from the downstream packaging sector and reduced post-consumer bales prices have pressured R-HDPE's market sentiments in the regional market. Also, the inclination toward surplus availability of Virgin HDPE has substantially affected R-HDPE's market value. Furthermore, global supply disruptions have severely hampered import-export activities resulting in higher freight charges and curtailed availability of post-consumer bales supplies, escalating the manufacturing costs at the quarter-end. After the conclusion of Q2, the prices for R-HDPE- Natural Pellets in Houston, USA, settled for USD 2400/MT on a FOB basis.
The r-HDPE market continuously rose in China in the second quarter due to strong demand from downstream packaging and bottling sectors. The resurgence of Covid cases in China has compelled the production units to operate at limited capacities, surging the market value of R-HDPE. Also, the zero covid policy has constrained the supplies for post-consumer bales, culminating in hiked prices. Furthermore, the costs increased in India due to robust demand and constrained supplies in the first half of Q2. However, the uncertainties in the terminal market and the key energy raw material coupled with demand deterioration culminated in a slump in prices. In June, the R-HDPE costs in India were assessed at INR 104600/MT Ex-Delhi.
Domestic R-HDPE prices climbed at the beginning of Q2 amidst strong demand and curbed supplies of feedstock virgin HDPE in the European region. The demonstrated gains in the market value of R-HDPE have been attributed to soaring energy costs brought on by tension between European nations. Moreover, the inclination towards sustainable goals for a circular economy from top market participants has also pushed the demand for R-HDPE, passing on the high-cost pressure to the consumers. However, with gradually improving raw material market conditions and bullish market demand, the prices of R-HDPE in Germany escalated significantly, hovering around USD 2145/MT in June on a FOB basis
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
In North America, prices of R-HDPE decreased during the first quarter of 2022 due to prolong uncertainty in the demand pattern. In January, the demand and supply gap narrowed because of the Omicron virus spread which led to the dull pickup in market activities. However, the demand from the packaging sector remained firm throughout the quarter. Increased supply of feed HDPE at low cost from the industries impacted the prices, and less demand from downstream automobile and textile industries further contributed to the downfall. By March 2022, R-HDPE prices settled at USD 2500 per tonne and witnessed a decrement of 19% from the last quarter of 2021.
Prices of R-HDPE remained highly volatile during Q1-2022. Prices decreased due to low feed HDPE prices and lacklustre demand from the domestic sector in January. However, prices surged in February and March because of increased feed HDPE prices after mid-quarter and high demand from the various end-user industries. Furthermore, the overall production cost was impacted by high crude oil prices because of the war between Russia and Ukraine. R-HDPE prices settled at USD 1326.95 per tonne in the Indian Market by March 2022, with an increment of 2% from the previous quarter.
R-HDPE prices rose significantly in the European region, especially at the beginning of the quarter. War tensions in the East European region resulted in supply shortage of raw materials HDPE and Carbon Black, which impacted the overall costs noticeably. High energy values further escalated the production costs, which caused an overall surge of 9% from January to March. Prices of light pellets R-HDPE were accessed at USD 800/MT on FOB basis in Germany.
For the Quarter Ending December 2021
Backed by the surge in HDPE prices and scarcity in post-consumer bales in the spot market, the North American R-HDPE market jumped high in October causing the contracts to stay firm. However, the loosening constrictions in freight movement and supply recovery of HDPE tipped down the R-HDPE prices in the second half of the quarter. Despite the optimistic demand from the food and commodity packaging end-user sectors, the R-HDPE market continued to show bearish traits evidenced from the gradually falling prices of post-consumer bales and injection moulding grade R-HDPE pellets with the highest decline observed in blow moulding grade R-HDPE prices in the US market. The traders were seen prioritizing price cuttings amid competition from supply abundant HDPE market. The December prices for R-HDPE in the USA were assessed as USD 1501/MT and USD 1465/MT for Blow molding and Injection molding grades, respectively.
The R-HDPE market in Asia was termed high in October and November stemming from the inflation in virgin HDPE prices that got translated into the prices of post-consumer HDPE raw materials. China saw high trending recycled R-HDPE flakes during October on account of curtailed recycling processes under the “Dual Control Policy”. The output enhanced gradually with improving energy stocks causing the prices in December to settle at USD 936/MT FOB Tianjin. Snug supply and container shortage constraints amid the festive period-induced peak in demand enhanced the woes of Indian manufacturers who resorted to offering high contract prices during November. The traders were heard remarking about having to offer competitive prices keeping the virgin HDPE market prices in mind despite supply deficiency for a major part of the quarter. However, with gradually settling raw material market conditions and year-end dullness in demand, the prices of R-HDPE dropped significantly hovering around USD 1254/MT Ex-Delhi December.
The European R-HDPE market remained tight during October and November with a stronger virgin HDPE market, shortage in raw material inflow and sturdy demand from the downstream industries. The energy-intensive recycling process amid the catastrophic energy crisis in Europe raised the input prices to soaring levels, thus causing the R-HDPE prices to maintain prominent heights, which decreased eventually with slight enhancement in energy inventories and improving post-consumer bale supplies. However, the shortfalls in sorting processes raised quality concerns amid recyclers who resorted to offering competitive prices on recycled pellets to attract demand that had faltered with a seasonal lull during the year-end. The prices for R-HDPE in Germany were assessed as USD 1705/MT FOB Hamburg.