The economic stagnation that began in 2018 is still continuing in 2019. Although there was a halt to the depreciation of the Turkish lira, mills reduced their exports owing to a drop in demand from international markets.
The stagnation in the domestic market has also affected production levels, which are around 60-70% of capacity. As a result, recovered paper collection rates have suffered a significant decline. There has been a drop-off in newspaper circulation rates, leading to a serious downtrend in tonnages of overissue and once-read news.
Although paper mills are working at low capacity utilisation levels, this has not affected the market; there has been a price increase of 10%, although only for high-quality material. Imports of A4 and A5 have continued according to previous arrangements.
Testing at Albayraklar’s brown paper mill in Balikesir has been postponed yet again, to the third quarter of 2019, while the Edirne mill sold by International Paper worked at only 5% capacity in the first quarter. New investments by Kipas and Hamburger have been slowed owing to the market situation.
Municipal elections are expected to have a huge impact on the government’s policies and, as a result, everyone is anticipating a real economic rebound in the second quarter.