This week we saw the release of the monthly figures covering the last month of 2017. While we can only estimate off these figures they do provide some indication of a positive return for the problematic 2017 materials. As outlined in the table below Aggregate glass continue its struggle being saved only by the surplus created in Remelt. It should however be noted that it has had to use some of the 2017 carry in to see it over the line. One would expect to see the 2018 carry in record a lower figure for Glass and it would be advised that this market should be one buyers review periodically this year. Plastic recorded a strong quarter albeit potentially down on the previous quarter but the stronger 2018 prices appear to be provided enough security to the export market to continue its move towards new end markets. Wood dominated trading discussions this week with increased prices being recorded in both the 2017 & 2018 markets. 2017 obligations are currently being satisfied with transitional tonnage which has resulted in a lift in that price as these late buyers compete with nervous 2018 buyers.

Aluminium appears to have had a strong Q4, calling into question the validity of some of the higher prices being reported in the last week. It would appear that some sellers who have struggled to move tonnage this year have decided to apply pressure on the late buyers to pay a premium. While there is nothing wrong with this strategy It would be foolish for these sellers to inflate prices too much as there appears to be more than enough tonnage to meet 2017 demand which could result in sellers being left with unsold tonnage at the end of the month. Concerns regarding a shortage in Paper tonnage which resulted in prices spiking towards the end of 2017 appear unfounded with good volume still available and prices softening. Both the Steel and Recovery markets continue to produce strong surpluses with prices in both years reflecting this position.

With only two more trading weeks until we can draw a line under the 2017 compliance year and, barring any dramatic last minute increase in demand one would expect 2017 tonnage values continue to soften unless sellers resistance builds as seen in Aluminium.



   -Ian Andrews