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Company news, Market updates and details of our advertising features are posted in the below blog.
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April 2012 - Market Update

April market update:

“As I type this, recovered paper – specifically OCC / mixed grades – is going through a mini crisis as the effects of a big reliance on export start to bite.

March 2012 - Market Update

March market update:

There have been some worrying developments in the trade very recently which will have a short term impact on material movement and prices

Paper Prices for the Irish Market

It’s long been a complaint of recyclers from Ireland that waste material prices are not relevant to the local market there, however Highlander International are aiming to work with Sustainable Ireland to put that right.

December 2011 - Market Update

December market update:

To all suppliers:

Welcome to our final market report of 2011! It has been a year of mixed fortunes for recyclers and processors alike and the markets in general have been unpredictable, testing and not short on surprises!

Tartan Ball - 2011

Staff from Highlander International Recycling were invited to this year’s glittering “Tartan Ball”, courtesy of PG Products.

New Acquisitions

Highlander International Recycling recently took delivery of a new curtain side trailer and unit for our Collections for our customers within the Belfast area.

This equipment will allow us to collect all types of recovered paper for a wide variety of destinations and customers.

New Lorry

New Baling Press

Highlander recently invested in the provision of a baling press for one of our long term suppliers

The machine is capable of processing up to 10 tons per hour and can make a bale of 500kgs +

It can process a wide range of paper grades such as OCC, over issue news, office paper and unprinted white

Highlander can provide recycling equipment to clients on a contract basis and would be delighted to perform a site survey to determine the individual requirements for each supplier

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information

New Baling Press

Market overview - June 2010

Packaging (Mixed / OCC):

Demand for OCC and mixed still remains high in both the UK and export as volumes generated at source remain keen and mill consumption remains stable. The weather will have a short term effect on demand that could result in prices increasing slightly again as deliveries are disrupted and collections from source also affected in the same way. 

Further market updates - January 2011

Packaging (Mixed / OCC):

These grades continue to confound expectations by prices remaining strong and maintaining steady increases in both export and UK domestic markets. Prices and demand show no signs of abating as yet while there seems to be no catch up in source volumes as yet to meet the demand so that prices cool off too sensible levels. 

Leah Graduates

LeahLeah McJimpsey, our Operations Manager, has successfully graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Management. Leah has been working hard towards her degree for the past few years as an evening student, with the full support and financial backing from Highlander International Recycling.

 

Stephen Duffy (Joint Director) attended the graduation ceremony, along with Leah’s family, to share in the grand occasion and to toast her success!

 

Stephen Duffy commented “we are all delighted for Leah in gaining this very commendable qualification, whilst working full time for the company as well as being a parent. This should prove to be very useful for both Leah and the company in the future and further highlights the commitment of the company to develop our people as far as is possible. I’m sure all customers and suppliers will join me in offering sincere congratulations to Leah in her success”.

October 2011 - Market Update

October market update – price and allocation implications:

To all suppliers:

Even in the short space of time between our previous market update last week, there have been further market developments that will affect all suppliers in terms of both material prices and movement of material from yards.

Packaging (Mixed / OCC):

As of writing this, the price of OCC on the export market, has fallen again, with cumulative price drops of about £40 - £50 p ton over the last three weeks.

Material for export is still moving, however for UK mill allocations, stock yards are full or getting full therefore allocations to suppliers are much reduced also. This in turn will further lead to excess material being offered onto the export market which in theory, should push the export prices down further – certainly a vicious circle for the OCC market right now.

Material will move – but will move much slower and at much reduced prices.

For mixed paper, many buyers have put the kibosh on any old orders and are simply refusing to buy any mixed paper, especially material from co-mingle sources. Orders rather than prices will be the main currency of value for this grade for the coming weeks, however again, expect quality issues to become prevalent especially if the market continues to weaken.

De-ink:

While prices have not fallen quite as sharply for these grades, UK stock yards are full so we anticipate a massive price correction in this sector for November, possibly up to £50 p ton on top of the reduction of £15 p ton for October.

Again, material will move but slowly as mills reduce allocations to regular suppliers, while being offered new tonnages from other sources.

Export orders are few and far between also, however these are inherently risky due to the high probability that even good quality material will be claimed.

Tissue:

Prices have crept down £5 - £10 per ton per week since mid October, however we expect a £20 p ton reduction for November on top of these aforementioned reductions. This is compounded by a vastly reduced order allocation for all tissue mills for November, with some mills indicating a reduction in received volumes by as much as 75%.

This is all being driven by a vast reduction in pulp prices, which has caused mills to use pulp for finished paper production rather than recovered paper.

For the coming few weeks, we expect prices to be corrected dramatically and mill allocations to be reduced also – this will have an effect on our ability to collect material as promptly as we would normally like and will also probably mean we will have to put maximum limits on the amount of material we would normally purchase also, especially on grades such as office papers and over issue news. We apologise in advance for any service issues that may be experienced during this period of market uncertainty, however we will as always look to assist our loyal suppliers in any way we can.

If you have any questions about the markets or any other aspect of this article, please do not hesitate to contact Stephen Duffy at 01355 524 215

Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

Market Report - October 2011

There has been quite a bit of market activity over the last two weeks and we are delighted to provide a summary of this as enclosed:

Packaging (Mixed / OCC):

As of writing this, the price of OCC on the export market, has fallen a couple of times, with cumulative price drops of about £15 over the last couple of weeks. In an unusual situation, demand for OCC remains relatively strong with no sudden halt in buying expected anytime soon, however with many mills in the UK, Europe and China having relatively high stocks of OCC, the markets have found it a prudent time to drop prices and there would be an ability to survive on current stock levels, if merchants / suppliers decided to hold onto stock in the hope that prices would increase again – a situation we feel is unlikely in the current climate.

One of the main dangers in a falling market, is the chances of quality claims being received – especially on the export market where the opportunities to challenge them are almost impossible, for logistical and cost reasons. Shipments of recovered paper from the UK / Ireland can take up to 8 weeks to arrive at its destination. When material loaded in containers are on the water to their destination, during a period of price reductions more often than not quality claims materialise, as buyers – especially in the far east – see opportunities to save money by paying “extra attention” to the quality of materials supplied by the sellers. In many cases, merchants who have either supplied mills direct or to brokers feel aggrieved, often justifiably, when quality claims start to filter through for material supplied just before the markets start to decline. This trend is as old as the concept of exporting recovered paper itself, and can often leave a bitter taste in the mouth as the materials and processes stay the same, yet the buyers mysteriously start to find problems with the quality. Our advice in these times is to pay extra attention to the quality supplied, as we can assure you the buyers will most certainly do so!

The exact same trends form for mixed paper, however this is far more susceptible to quality claims and even outright rejections due to the subjective nature of the main quality factors such as out-throws and moisture.

It is the strangest concept that when the markets cool and prices fall, the quality needs to improve but when the prices are high and the markets need material, the quality requirements are more likely to be “relaxed”

De-ink:

Again, high stocks are the order of the day and the main reason for price reductions in both Over issue news and news and pams. The surge in demand from the UK markets caused by new capacity and a general shortage of material has now tempered. UK prices have fallen £15 p ton in October and we can expect a similar reduction for November or perhaps even sooner. Export prices have fallen suit (By as much as €30 p ton in some cases) and again we can expect the same for November.

From an Irish perspective, Norske Skog, exclusive buyers of de-ink from Highlander International Recycling, have one paper machine out of commission for the month and one machine on a week’s downtime. This has dramatically hampered our ability to buy spot volumes for the mill however all contract volumes are moving smoothly as normal. November should see us be able to offer spot prices again however at vastly reduced prices and with a reduced volume allocations.

On the quality side, especially News and pams from co-mingled sources, mills will undoubtedly be scrutinising all loads and shipments received and unfortunately, this will also include shipments that have already been despatched prior to the market prices starting to fall. We are advising all suppliers to be very careful on what they load for shipment and if you are in any doubt, don’t load the material as even a single bale falling out of the load specification will be enough to trigger claims, downgrades or even outright rejections of loads. The two key quality aspects that suppliers must be acutely aware of is out-throws (including cardboard and other non – deink papers) and moisture. For guidance, moisture should be no more than 12% and out-throw targets should be no more than 2%. As always, presentation is very important as in most cases, bales that look clean and tidy on the outside, will be regarded by mills as clean and tidy on the inside.

Tissue:

Ironically, it is movement at the very high end of the market which is causing the most concern in the market right now. Best white 1 & 2 prices have not just fallen in line with the downward correction in pulp prices, many mills operating at this end of the market are now simply refusing to buy any pulp substitute recovered paper and use only virgin pulp instead as their machine feedstock. Any orders for this material are certainly not coming from Europe, with only Far Eastern buyers showing any interest in these grades at vastly reduced prices against what was being enjoyed only 4 weeks ago from European buyers.

Three things have contributed to this rapid fall in demand for Best whites 1 & 2. Firstly, pulp prices have fallen dramatically over the last few weeks and this will continue into November – what will happen after this is unsure as pulp supplies can easily be restricted by pulp producers to create artificial demand, therefore push up prices (in many ways exactly like oil producing countries can restrict supply to increase the price for a barrel of oil). If this occurs, then pulp prices will hopefully increase that will re-stimulate interest in recovered paper which will improve prices.

Secondly, many European mills making high end writing / printing or luxury tissue products that use Best white 1 & 2 are have relatively low order books and as a result they are taking periods of downtime for maintenance etc. Obviously, mills that are not operating will not be buying any material ergo will lead to merchants trying to offload stocks at lower prices, which is exactly what has been happening.

Lastly, when Best white 1 & 2 prices were at their peak about 6 weeks ago, some brokers in Europe started to import material from America in an attempt to take advantage of a buoyant market situation. Unfortunately, as the material has started to arrive into Europe and be placed into stock ready for delivery to mills, the above 2 factors have reduced the prices and with up to a rumoured 5000 tons of material having being imported, this has caused a massive imbalance in the supply / demand of these grades.

We predict start of November, possibly even mid November before this market starts to show any signs of activity, and even then prices and orders will not be particularly attractive for merchants or producers.

Again, quality is absolutely paramount in this market sector – downgrades or rejections can cost several thousand pounds per load and as mills have a ready made, readily available and cheap alternative in the form of pulp, they will have no qualms in rejecting loads for even minor issues.

General

Not to compound the situation we are experiencing, the below article in lets recycle may be of interest to all suppliers. This highlights that it is not just customer / complaints we need to contend with, but potential TFS issues also – the next couple of months will be difficult market conditions for all sectors – we will keep you all up to date with developments as always. The buzz word for the foreseeable future will be quality as mills have an abundance of material to choose from at better prices, they will invariably choose better quality material, or more bang for their buck as they say.

http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/paper/two-waste-firms-fined-in-illegal-export-case

If you have any questions about the markets or any other aspect of this article, please do not hesitate to contact Stephen Duffy at 01355 524 215

Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

Sustainable Ireland annual awards ceremony - The results

The Highlander International staff were out in force for their first attendance at the annual Sustainable Ireland Awards ceremony, held on Wednesday 14th September, at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast.

Over the past year we have worked closely with Sustainable Ireland on regular articles and advertising features, in addition to the significant coverage of our successful ‘Open Day’ held in April this year.

For full details of the awards ceremony please click on the below pdf

Sustainable Ireland Awards Ceremony

Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

New Equipment

Highlander Asset Acquisitions

As part of our ongoing expansion plans, Highlander have acquired 2 new pieces of handling equipment;

1 x 3 ton JCB teletruck, capable of safely and efficiently handling both reels and bales of paper.

Alongside this, we have also acquired a 2.5 ton forklift which will allow us to handle pallets of paper.

On this new expansion, Stephen Duffy, Joint managing director commented: "We can now offer a bulking and storage facility for all types of waste paper and would be delighted to offer competitive rates for these services. Alternatively, we can now offer prices to suppliers, either on an ex works or delivered basis, for all grades of waste paper either in baled or loose format."

Please feel free to contact Highlander if you require further information on these exciting expansion plans

 

New Equipment

Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

Sustainable Ireland annual awards ceremony

Sustainable Ireland annual awards ceremony – Highlander International Recycling preview:

On the 14th September, Sustainable Ireland hold their annual Recycling awards ceremony at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast.

All staff from Highlander International Recycling will be in attendance at the ceremony, as both an entrant and sponsor of an award.

Highlander International have decided to sponsor the “Environmental Project of the year” award, which will be presented to the individual or company who has implemented or designed a programme or project dedicated to environmental issues.

Highlander Director, Stephen Duffy, will be presenting the award to the winning company and commented:

“Highlander are delighted to be involved in the ceremonies for the Sustainable Ireland Awards and naturally, we hope our commitment to the environment is reflected in our willingness to sponsor the best Environmental project, a category that will quite rightly recognise and reward the hard work of the eventual winner. We are sure that it will be a very successful day for all concerned and everyone at Highlander is looking forward to being involved in this important industry event”

As a sponsor, Highlander International will have a distinct presence at the awards and will have our own stand and banner display present – we would be delighted to speak to you at the event so feel free to come up and chat to us!

Highlander have also entered the “Recycling Industry award” category. The nature of this award is to recognise the organisation which demonstrates high standards of resource efficiency in the collection and / or sorting and / or re-processing of material as its core business. Highlander have decided to present our unique news and pams collection system to the panel of judges as an innovative and efficient process that drastically reduces vehicle movements and carbon emissions, while providing a local outlet and solution for de-ink grades such as news and pams and over issue news.

The entry is entitled “Making paper matter – again and again” and charts the entire shipping, handling and logistics systems utilised to bring finished newspaper in from our approved processing partner, Norske Skog Skogn mill, situated on the Western Coast of Norway, while back-loading locally sourced recovered paper to Norway, from many reputable suppliers such as Bryson Recycling, Recyco, Greyhound Recycling and Glassdon Recycling.

We are delighted to allow our customers the opportunity to view our award entry;

Sustainable Ireland Awards Entry

We hope that the ceremony is successful for Highlander – both as a sponsor and an entrant – and we will provide details and pictures of the event for all customers to view, shortly after our return from Belfast!

Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

Market Report - August 2011

 

Packaging (Mixed / OCC):

Prices for OCC have been up and down all summer by about £10 / €12 p ton, as mills try and use any perceived market weakness or high stock levels as an excuse to drop prices. As I write this, prices on the Far East export market have dropped once more, however with the traditionally busy period of August – October now upon us where Christmas activity is concentrated in the packaging sector, we predict that OCC and mixed prices will stay steady / increase slightly till end of October as mills stay focused on securing fibre for their production. Where we do anticipate a market correction however, especially in the UK / European sector, is when the Christmas manufacturing and subsequent packaging requirements drop off after the shelves have been filled (and re-filled) – consumer demand will cool and consequently finished paper / recovered paper requirements will also cool accordingly. On the Far east export side, rumours have also surfaced that mills are continuing to buy material even on the backdrop of reported high stocks, so as to manufacture another “crash” in these prices. Being as the UK / Ireland is heavily dependent on these markets (Over 35% of UK generated material consumption, significantly more for the Irish market), this would have a significant impact on the industry. This sector certainly needs a market correction as prices are too high viz a viz the economic uncertainty we face today, but another crash like 2008 we can most certainly do without. Needless to say, the prices will start to fall in the very near future – as ever it will be a question of when. Our predictions are Quarter 4, 2011 for the long awaited return to sanity!

De-ink:

As volumes generated of newsprint both from domestic sources and production waste were under pressure, price increases were expected but either did not materialise or were minor in value. Many producers of news and pams from co-mingle sources are being tempted to, or are indeed switching to produce soft mixed instead, at least in the short term, as in some isolated cases the price differences between news and pams and good quality soft mixed is gradually shrinking, to the point where producers are examining if the benefit v cost incurred justifies the extra effort expended to make news and pams. Coupled with some new sorting capacity in the UK for co-mingled / soft mixed, the demand for feedstock seems to be firming up. Long – term however, in our opinion the value will always be in the production of quality news and pams grades, as well sorted news and pams will always court more interest than soft mixed, which as a grade can carry significant risk with both quality claims and potential TFS issues. From the Highlander operations in Belfast port, trading in news and pams and over issue news has been very brisk, with all of our outlets being pleased with both the volumes and quality of the materials received. Potential price corrections with this grade on its own will be more difficult to predict, especially as one UK mill is predicted to increase production in quarter 4 for 2011, although general rule of thumb is that if one recovered paper sector falls / rises, the others tend to follow.

Tissue:

A temporary reduction in capacity throughout July from one of the largest consumers of tissue grades was expected to put pressure on prices in the very short term as other mills were offered the surplus that became available as a result, however thankfully this never materialised and prices stayed exactly the same, as they have been for several months now. At the very high end of the market, Best white prices increased slightly in line with increases in pulp prices, although we suspect this is temporary as there are reports that pulp prices may start to cool off shortly, thus resulting in price reductions of about £10 p ton for pulp substitute grades. Due to the relatively high costs attached in collecting and sorting grades for this sector, many may argue that rather than being high, prices right now are realistic and deserve to be at this level on a more consistent basis. The potential introduction of new capacity in the market place, would certainly make this sector very attractive for recyclers as we feel there could be some very good returns for investment in infra-structure to service the tissue market. Again however, the same general rule of thumb applies for the recovered paper sectors – if one drops they all follow. In 2008, even though the tissue market was largely unaffected by the crash, as the nature of the consumer is different from packaging and de-ink grades, the prices still tumbled regardless.

Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

Market Update - June 2011

 

Packaging (Mixed / OCC):

As prices in these grades have been rising sharply over the last few months, there seemed to be no end to the madness of excessively high prices for relatively low grades of recovered paper. Fuelled by a reduction in collection volumes against a backdrop of recovering demand, the last couple of quarters have been once in a decade occurrence where prices seemingly spiral out of control as mills scramble for any available tonnage on the market. Thankfully, some of the signs are that this sector of the market seems to be cooling off slightly, as mills in Europe approach full stock levels, prices in the Euro-zone have reduced from between €10 - €20 p ton for packaging grades. Naturally, this resulted in extra volumes being offered to the export market and never one to miss a trick, Far East buyers began taking action to try and reduce prices here also. The last couple of weeks however has saw the OCC price yo-yo $5 - $10 p ton dependant on the buying requirements of each mill. As the Far East mills are generally very coy about their stock levels and pending shipments, we are unsure of how this market will continue to react to the availability of extra tons from the European market – coupled with summer fast approaching where traditionally recovered paper collection volumes drop off, we predict that we may experience some price drops through June / July, however prices should recover in August as mills get ready for the Christmas demand. In the UK, the first major capacity investment in the packaging sector for some time, will see a new paper mill commence manufacturing late 2011 and this will undoubtedly have a short to medium – term effect on OCC prices as the UK will need an extra 450,000 ton per annum to satisfy mill demand. Interesting times indeed for this sector.

 

De-ink:

Following the same trend as packaging grades, prices for news and pams and Over issue news have increased also over the last few months. The background for these increases are also attributable to low collections versus recovering demand. From our own experience, April in particular was a tight month for de-ink grades, more so for over issue news and it seemed that the gap between supply and demand stretched above the levels that have been the norm for 2011. While predictions for the future of the newspaper industry as a whole are generally doom and gloom in the face of tangible competition from the internet for news seekers, a reduction in UK newspaper circulation figures for 2007 – 2009 of 25%, seem to have abated in 2010 and the prediction is the things will continue to improve – slowly but surely - for this sector. Like the packaging sector however, a semblance of sanity will need to prevail at some point where prices return to normal levels – the timing of this cooling off is the key factor here and it could be late 2011 / early 2012 before this transpires.

 

Tissue:

As pulp prices increased in May by $40 p ton and are predicted to increase in June also (We hear at least $20 p ton), it follows that recovered paper grades in the tissue markets should increase also. For May / June however, one of the major tissue grade consumers took planned down-time of at least 3 weeks, which reduces capacity in this sector for the short- term by about 3000 tons. Despite this short term blip, the prospects – as ever – are positive in this sector. Rumours that a new tissue machine is to be announced in the UK shortly is ample evidence that a confident outlook is merited. The knock – on effect of a new machine in the UK is that the export market for grades such as SOW and Multi-grade will find it tougher to source UK volumes, which may cause prices to spike if / when the new machine is ready to start consuming recovered paper. On a whistle – stop tour of several tissue mills recently, Highlander found the general expectations to be very much forward looking, despite obvious commercial pressures such as increasing energy and raw material costs. While the economy recovers ever so slightly, we expect printers and office paper volumes to increase, which should help ease any potential supply issues should new machines arrive in the UK market, however as with any increase in the capacity to use recovered paper regardless of the sector, prices will undoubtedly increase, at least for the short – term.

.

Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

Highlander Market analysis: 1989 to 2009

 

Highlander Market analysis: 1989 – 2009


Trends 1989 - 2009

click here to download

For the benefit of our customers, Highlander International have taken the most up to date figures available and drawn up tables and charts that allow the key industry indicators to be easily illustrated and understood. Please feel free to browse this presentation and to read our analysis of where the paper industry has come from, to where it is today and where we think it will be in the future. If you would like to discuss this with us, please feel free to contact us at +44 1355 524 215 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks for taking the time to view our web – site – we hope we can be of service to you soon.

Stephen Duffy
Managing Director
Highlander International Recycling

 

New Premises

Highlander International Recycling have grown dramatically since our inception in 2003.

Now handling up to 100,000 tons of recovered paper every year, we have found it necessary to move to a new office and processing facility in East Kilbride.

This will allow the company to continue with it’s ambitious growth plans over the next few years. Highlander will now have access to on-site baling and handling facilities for all grades of recovered paper and will be able to offer recycling services to both waste management and producing companies alike.

Highlander would be delighted to offer all customers and suppliers a tour of the new office and facilities  - please feel free to contact us directly to arrange this

New Premises

New Premises