The new year got off to a very slow start for plastics recyclers in Germany, with two very slow weeks. Towards the end of January, however, incoming orders from converters were "halfway decent", recyclers said. Yet they believe the slight improvement in sales is primarily due to customers restocking after the turn of the year.
This was definitely not a springtime recovery, given that the economic environment remains weak, EUWID was told. Companies in nearly all sectors are complaining about declining demand. In addition, there are high levels of illness-related absenteeism.
Most recyclers predict 2024 will be a difficult year. They point to the Dutch plastics recycler Umincorp, which filed for insolvency protection in mid-January.
In January, recyclers were just able to hold sales prices for recyclate steady. The price picture is unlikely to change in February, say several market participants. Primary plastics are still inexpensive. It remains to be seen whether the downtimes at crackers reported in Europe in January will lead to a considerable price rise for polyethylene and polypropylene, thereby boosting demand for recyclate again.
On the export market for waste plastics, the downward price trend seen in December did not continue. In some cases, generators of commercial plastic waste, traders and the converters in Asia are apparently sharing the increased freight costs in the wake of the attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea.
Read the full monthly report on the market for waste plastics in Germany and acess the price table and graphing tools here: