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Cautious future for the glass recycling market

Glass reprocessors are expected to be very cautious in future trading following the recent crash in the market, according to industry experts.

Gate fees currently being charged for low quality glass are set to stay for a while due to the market’s volatility, with some reprocessors charging above £20 a tonne for the worst quality material in order to cover the cost of transporting it. In addition, the price of clear and amber glass looks ready to gently drop down, as it is finally affected by the falls seen on mixed and green glass.

Recresco director Tim Gent said: “I can’t envisage ever seeing prices as high at £35 a tonne, like they were last year. I don’t think the PRN price and the glass price will follow each other so closely in future, instead, reprocessors will wait until the PRN price has stayed firm for a few weeks before increasing prices. We need to have some confidence back in the PRN price because too many of us got burnt.”

Additionally, as contracts with local authorities come up for renewal, contract prices are set to decrease considerably as merchants and reprocessors look to protect themselves from future price drops.

Another large UK glass reprocessor said: “We saw a pretty big bounce in December for 2010 PRNs but 2011 PRN prices are nowhere near those levels. We are still charging a gate fee. Whether this stays will all depend on how the market goes and it’s still only January, so we will wait until at least the second quarter to re-evaluate this.

“We’re keeping an open mind on the market and we are revising markets on a weekly basis. It’s still too volatile at the moment.”

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