The last EUWID market survey in December revealed a downbeat outlook for the German waste textiles market in early 2024 – and this pessimism was apparently well-founded. Textiles recyclers say the challenging market situation that started in mid-2023 shows no signs of abating and in fact may be worsening. This is not unique to Germany; the same trend is being seen across Europe.
"It has rarely been as difficult as it is now; the situation is serious,” a long-time market player commented. "Sales have come to a standstill,” said one major recycler. Players say they have lot of finished sorted textiles in their warehouses, including high-priced goods.
On the whole, sorting firms have very good inventories of original stock. This is partly because collection volumes are relatively high, EUWID was told. Although the first week of January was weak, volumes have risen sharply since then, according to one major collector.
The inclement weather is barely having an effect on collection volumes. Therefore, players are hoping that volumes will decline during February, which is traditionally a weak month for collections.
Sales of sorted clothes are extremely sluggish. This is true for both Eastern Europe as well as for the important Africa business, where political instability and economic crises are having a very noticeable impact.
Sorting companies are facing further cost increases for everything from wages to transport and plastic sacks. In addition, the cost of having residual waste incinerated in a waste to energy (wte) plant has risen due to a CO2 levy coming into effect this year.
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