German newsprint prices to climb by up to 5% in 2013
The direction that newsprint prices will head is now clear, at least according to producers. Once again, the tone for the negotiations was set at the number one industry event.
Prices are set to climb by up to 5% as of 1 January. These plans, which aim to create a little breathing room for paper producers again, will likely meet with tough opposition. Newspaper publishers have little choice but to limit their own spending against a backdrop of consistently worsening circulation, dwindling advertising revenues and their inability to offset these factors to date.
In years past, the Ifra Expo, now known as World Publishing Expo (wpe12), had provided clues about newsprint manufacturers' plans. This year, a major player had already outlined his targets in the run-up to the event, disclosing that prices would be raised by 5% for deliveries from 1 January. At the wpe12, competitors were clearly pleased about this tangible announcement and felt that a definitive message had been sent: the paper industry wants to raise its prices. Another manufacturer stated his goal of charging 3-4% more. Observers expect tough negotiations.
September brought a double-digit drop in sales for the European newsprint industry on its home market. Deliveries were down 13.9% compared with last year to stand at 739,000 t. Euro-Graph estimates the downturn in European demand at as much as 16.5%. Overseas exports fared well, improving by 33.6% to 121,000 t. This state of affairs led to a 28.6% growth to 1.48 million t in the first nine months of 2012. Total deliveries fell 3.9% to 7.4 million t, with European shipments dropping 9.6% to 5.93 million t. European demand tumbled 9.9% to 6.08 million t, Euro-Graph estimated.