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American Recycler Masthead

Recovered paper prices on the rise

Recovered paper prices are increasing, but prices are often volatile.

“We have noticed increases over the past several months,” said Steve Grossman, president of The Grossman Group Inc. The Westerville, Ohio-based broker of waste paper also operates a fiber separation recycling facility in Columbus, Ohio.

Grossman said he expects scrap paper prices to increase further. “When pricing is very low, as many of us have seen over the years, there really isn’t enough of a spread to make even a decent profit, cover collection cost, market properly, etc.,” Grossman said.

“Pricing does not have to skyrocket in order for everyone to make a profit.”

Scrap paper prices are on the rise, but not by the same magnitude as other scrap materials, said Tom Runiewicz, an economist for Global Insight in Philadelphia.

Scrap steel is about twice the value of scrap paper, Runiewicz said. “Metals, because of high value per ton, have always been a lot more attractive to recycle.”

The price for old newsprint was approximately $80 a ton in 2002, Runiewicz said. Last year the price increased to about $110 a ton. This year the price is slightly below $100 a ton. The price for old corrugated containers was $88 a ton in 2002 and increased to a peak of $115 a ton a year ago. This year the price is back below $95 a ton.

“While both domestic and export demand for scrap have grown tremendously, the supply chain and collection facilities have also improved quite a bit,” Runiewicz said.

“Previous supply constraints with scrap paper have not been due to the lack of availability of scrap paper and boxes. The United States is a tremendous producer of waste.”    ...read more

 


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