UK R-PET colourless flake prices drop on virgin PET competition

| Business function | ICIS | London

According to ICIS colourless recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) spot prices have seen significant reductions because of pressure caused by low virgin PET prices, market sources said this week.

As stated by the company the three-digit drop at the low end of the price range was a result of sellers offering significantly lower prices in order to secure business from buyers tempted to switch back to virgin. Prices below £700/tonne FD UK were also heard in the market but these were not widely confirmed, though prices could still come under pressure if the virgin market remains at low levels.

As said by ICIS with rising upstream costs, and small upwards movements in bottle grade PET last week, R-PET players who switched back to virgin may be tempted back if spot UK prices erode further.

According to the company an interesting development the R-PET market is talking about already in 2020 is which brands will stick to their sustainability commitments, and which will move away from recycled content if virgin prices become more attractive.

ICIS states that it does seem as if the advent of the New Year has caused R-PET sellers to adopt a more cynical view of brand pledges and sustainability commitments, with many saying they will be watching closely to see which buyers absorb any higher costs associated with increasing recycled content, and which ones reduce or abandon their targets if the cost gets too great.