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Glass PRN shortage could lead to full price recovery

Glass recyclers have welcomed the shortage of glass packaging recovery notes (PRNs) in the market expecting it to potentially completely recover the glass PRN price this year.

Published on the National Packaging Waste Database yesterday, Q4 figures for glass showed that glass may have missed its obligation if the carry-over tonnage at the beginning of 2010 was not so large. By adding up each quarter’s data, glass missed its 2010 obligation of 1,696,884 tonnes by 48,968 tonnes. However, if the carry-over tonnage from 2009 (63,657 tonnes) is added on, glass exceeds target by 14,689 tonnes.

Recresco director Tim Gent said: “The fact is we didn’t produce enough PRNs month on month and so we relied on the carry over to meet the obligation. It’s a good thing for recyclers because there will be a rise in the PRN price [as a result of not enough PRNs in the market]. If the Q1 figures for 2011 show low figures too then we could see them jump up again.”

Some recyclers believe the glass PRN price may be pushed above £20 as a result of supply and demand on the market.

Gent added: “For 2011, the problem is the carry-over from 2010 is much less than last year’s at just 12,000 tonnes. It may be very tight on glass whether we meet 2011’s obligation.”

Recyclers expect the shortage of PRNs demonstrated in the 2010 figures will carry over into 2011, pushing up the price of the glass PRN, which crashed at the end of 2010. Before the crash, glass PRNs were around the £20 mark but this plummeted at the end of the year, with some recyclers actually charging a gate fee at the beginning of 2011.

An insider in the glass industry agreed with Gent– “I think it will be a tight year but how this will affect the price remains to be seen. We will be looking to the Q1 figures to tell us more. I’m not sure whether it will go up to the figures seen before the crash.”

Q1 figures for 2011 are due to be published towards the end of April.

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