The plastic scrap trade has been under pressure lately as the Chinese market is not interested in acquiring any material, including the LDPE and the LLDPE granules traditionally accepted in that country.
As a consequence, prices for plastic scrap have decreased by more than 30% in recent months. In addition, there is the major issue that buyers do not want to procure it even at these lower prices. This blockage has led to an increase in the quantities of plastic scrap available in Europe. In a bid to overcome this situation, international traders are searching for solutions to ship the material into South East Asia. PET represents the only category of plastic which the market still appreciates at present.
In Romania, PET is the only commodity still purchased in large quantities as local factories are continuing to process it. Lately, there have also been developments regarding PP owing to high industry demand in Romania, leading to an improvement in price. Moreover, HDPE is becoming increasingly requested, both in regrind and granulated form.
Unfortunately, the large quantities of plastics available in Europe have brought about growth in the incineration business at the expense of the recycling industry, and the trend does not look positive for us.
Rematholding CO. SRL. (ROU), Young Trader Representative to the BIR Plastics Committee