Posted on 14/10/2015 in category Plastics

BIR World Mirror on Plastics - Issue October 2015

International Scenario for the Plastic Scrap Market

The plastic scrap market has been on a downward trend since the second quarter of 2015. At the beginning of July, crude NYMEX- quoted WTI oil prices were at US$ 57 per barrel but dropped as low as US$ 39 in the second half of August - the lowest level since the 2008 crisis. Prime plastic prices lost ground and almost all polymers slid lower. Although crude oil prices have subsequently improved and are currently trading at very near to US$ 50 per barrel, there has not been much improvement in prime plastic prices which remained under pressure until the end of September. The industry feels prices have now bottomed out and are hoping to see some improvement in the coming period.

Plastic scrap prices followed the downtrend in crude oil and prime plastics. In the July and August holiday period, there was a reduction in traded volumes of plastic scrap owing to weak demand from Asian recyclers. In August, the month in which crude oil prices crashed, there were many difficulties in the market; a large number of Asian recyclers renegotiated the prices of open orders and some of them were not even in a position to pay the balance on cargoes that had landed at their destination. For exporters, this brought back memories of 2008. It became very tough for exporters to manage cargoes already on the way. We witnessed a dead market, with many exporters stopping trading in order to reduce their exposure pending a clearer view of the market (...)

by Surendra Patawari Borad
Gemini Corporation NV (Belgium)
Chairman of the Plastics Committee

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