For most of the time since January, domestic prices for the OCC grades remained quite stable. Demand was good although collection was in balance while export orders were weak but on the increase. Demand for the deinking grades was very poor and therefore prices dropped further in the first instance. White grades also suffered slight declines.
Container availability was a problem during the first quarter. It proved really difficult to find containers for the Far East and freight rates were excessive, with the result that domestic supply was even slightly greater than demand.
Everything changed in the second half of March as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. All retail and tourist-related activity was halted and people were confined to their homes, thus bringing most consumption to a sudden stop. Recovered paper collections were also reduced to a minimum. Subsequently, therefore, supply has fallen far below demand because paper mills are still operating and cannot find sufficient raw material. Prices have been increasing for the scant volumes held in stock because of really low collection rates. Therefore, price is not the key issue at present.
ALBA Servicios Verdes S.L. (ESP)