Recovered paper prices increased in December owing to a combination of: lower collection volumes resulting in part from pandemic-related lockdown measures; and reasonable demand not only from domestic consumers but also from export buyers based elsewhere in Europe and beyond.
Serious transportation difficulties have been encountered in supplying mainly non-European markets owing to a scarcity of containers and high costs; the price increases brought about by these additional transport costs are being absorbed by consumers. Furthermore, materials destined for the Far East are being widely submitted to quality controls.
Owing to this competition from overseas customers, Italian mills have been obliged to accept increases in price to Euro 120-125 per tonne for OCC, Euro 90-100 for mixed paper and Euro 90-105 for deinking.
Serious complications are anticipated for private companies as a result of the recent reclassification of waste materials: previously split into the categories of urban waste and special waste (the latter including all industrial waste and similar), these have now been brought together in a single category that will clearly favour municipal operators. Furthermore, a new auction system has been introduced by national recovery consortium COMIECO with the purpose of reducing exports and supporting domestic mills.
Recovered paper negotiations in Italy always begin after the early weeks of January. The scope for further increases will depend on whether mills are able to raise the prices of their in-demand reels. If no increase is implemented, current lockdown measures and the winter weather will correspondingly influence collections.
Pro-Gest has started production in Mantua and is now consuming the volumes of recovered paper it has stocked over recent months; it is expected to reappear soon on the buying market.