Vic’s Market Report

January 2019 – Victor Horton

According to the Pulp and Paper Week newsletter, Newspaper remains at $25 as it has since May 2018. Up until November some mills were paying a $5 premium. Then things got interesting and several others woke up and offered a $20 premium just a short while ago. Newspaper is still moving at the higher price across the state.

Mixed Paper creeped up a little and went from $0 to $5/ton in price. One mill pays $20 for freight so we are getting $25/ton delivered to Massachusetts. Other nearby mills were getting plenty, but the grade seems to be showing a small amount of activity. There is some demand in the mid-Atlantic area, but freights are high. Moving mixed paper in New England will likely be a challenge for several months or more. After freight, mixed paper can cost anywhere from negative $15/ton to negative $45/ton. During December and around the holidays freight rates seemed to be very high but since have some down a bit. One hauler told me that for every 12 loads in the Portland area there was about one truck to cover 12 loads around Christmas.

OCC prices remain the same as the last several months. The only price movement was in May when it dropped $10 from $85 in April 2018. The posted price is $75/ton. There is more to the story though. In July one large buyer dropped the price to below $70/ton. Others remained at $75-95 but only for certain areas and when trucking was good. Trucking has become a little easier but several of the mills are getting plenty of offers so they are paying less than the quoted PPW pricing. The net price for many of the members we serve comes in around $58-65/ton.

Sorted Office Paper was paying about $220/ton in December, but January saw a drop to about $205/ton. Localized bidding brings in about $215/ton for full loads.

Steel Can pricing had been on the upswing for a while topping out at $240 less freight in December. We received a reduction in price recently by $35/ton, making January 2019 $205 less about $75 in freight.

At the same time Light Iron dropped in many areas including the Bangor market. We had received $110 since about August. The first $10 decrease came in January followed by another $20 decrease days later. An Auburn buyer also dropped. They are paying $120/ton before freight and for the months of November and December it was closer to $139/ton.

PET pricing remains steady at about $100 for Municipal material. Bottle bill pricing is about $200-250/ton.

HDPE Natural is paying around $800 and Color $300 per ton. One buyer thinks a price drop is in our future of about $100-120/ton. Another buyer thinks it will remain steady for a while.

LDPE film prices have worsened recently. A Portland buyer offered zero delivered but has changed it to negative $20/ton for good clean material.

Boat wrap seems to be immune to this as it is still at $300/ton delivered.

Rigid plastics were moving at $40/ton but over the holidays several processors stopped taking material. Recently activity in this area can be reported on.

The Plastics #3-7 grade with #1 is not moving at all. Material without #1 could be moved easier if towns were able to do another sort to take out the #1. Some have but others don’t have the capability to do that. There are several markets for straight #3-7 with no #1 but demand comes and goes very quickly.

Single stream spot tonnage has not changed much in several months. Pricing remains constant at negative $120-140. One hauler is charging about $155/ton, but that includes freight to the final material recovery facility.

PVC / Vinyl Collection We are continuing work on our grant to collect siding in the spring in the following areas, Dover-Foxcroft, Mid Maine Solid Waste, and Central Penobscot Solid Waste. This will be a pilot project with a defined end date.

Propane tanks have become a little easier to move. MRRA is able to give back revenue for certain tanks and charge for others. There is also an option where the town pays freight and some of the tanks don’t cost at all to move. The 1lb size does however cost to recycle. It is about $1 each.