Attached is your PO for deliveries of recyclables during September 2021.
Recyclables improved modestly this month. Strong paper demand drove a small pricing increase while plastics were flat or somewhat down.
Both domestic and export paper demand continue to be robust. E-commerce in the United States grew by 44% in 2020. While the 2021 growth was not as rapid, consumers sustained the paper packing demand with continued online shopping. Although we are seeing a potential slowdown in the overall economy, we expect recycled paper requirements to maintain or improve into 2022. This month, that strong demand created a small price increase in the domestic OCC with export OCC softening a bit. Other paper grades made marginal improvements.
Only two container board mills shut down for a couple of days, due to Hurricane Ida. These shutdowns did not upset the overall North American paper market. We also do not expect any bump in near-term plastics pricing due to flooding along the Gulf Coast. And, for the most part, the virgin plastics production has recovered from the Texas Winter shutdowns, thus ending the upward pressure on plastic commodities.
The previously rapid-rising plastics market appears to have reached its plateau. There was an overall price reduction for plastics recyclables this month. Most plastics pricing remained flat while a few grades decreased marginally. The good news is that plastics demand remains solid, despite some price reductions.
On average, metal pricing was stable this month with aluminum (nonferrous) value increasing and tin (ferrous) value decreasing.
Port delays continue to hinder exports. Additionally, trucking reliability and rising transportation costs degraded the value of export commodities. As we know, recyclable commodity pricing continually cycles up and down. Although some plastic grades are decreasing in value, we expect Holiday shopping and paper demand to sustain the overall recyclable market value through the remainder of this year.
Pioneer remains diligent in getting the best pricing available. It is our pleasure to work with you to recycle material and to protect our environment. We appreciate you and thank you for your business.