In April, there were a few, quite short production stops at the paper mills, for reasons that were not always obvious. Full warehouses coincided with a high availability of recovered paper, exports of which to Asia were at a relatively low level and so did not provide any relief. Prices for one or two recovered paper grades were slightly reduced, but this was not the general rule. Owing to the four-day week created by the Easter holidays, it proved difficult to transport everything and so truck availability was tight, leading to a temporary increase in freight costs.
In May, the situation was stable as a balance was struck between the relatively large influx of recovered paper and the volumes dispatched to the paper industry. This indicated that the paper and board industry was well-stocked with recovered paper whereas inventories held at waste disposal plants were rather low. For the lower grades, prices remained largely stable but were higher in East Germany and Eastern Europe when compared to the west owing to greater demand. Downward price corrections were made only for rotation and for woodfree white.
In June, Europe’s paper and board industry - including the packaging industry - complained of a decline in orders. The mills’ recovered paper warehouses were well stocked and, at the same time, availability remained high. There was a drop in exports to the Far East, and especially to China where new import licences are proving hard to secure. Volumes of 1.04 to 4.03 are available from Northern and Western Europe at significantly lower prices, especially for kraft bulk grades. Prices for the lower grades were relatively stable in June whereas high levels of availability resulted in further price reductions for the better grades.
Recycling Karla Schmidt (DEU)