Summer conditions are reigning supreme on German paper markets and are bringing the traditional gaps in producers' order books. Uncoated fine paper suppliers' job is now to maintain the price hikes that they implemented in the second quarter.
Germany's woodfree uncoated paper market is encountering comparatively stable copy paper and offset paper business, even though seasonal factors are a source of nervousness here and there. A few discounts that were granted for deliveries in July and August are to remain the exception and will not influence pricing on the whole, market experts said. Manufacturers were feeling the pinch from production costs too much and had fought too hard to raise prices in the first place, they added.The latter was also true of wholesalers that were gradually passing these increases on to end customers.
Experts summed up that the paper industry had eradicated low prices. Changes had been observed in the low-cost market in particular. Paper mills' long order backlogs had fallen in recent weeks, which had caught nobody by surprise given that it was July. Even though observers reported that one or two producers needed to offer attractive prices to land large orders, there really should not be any degree of uncertainty, they added.
The question remained to what extent producers were willing to react to this lull by temporarily idling their paper machines and thus release pressure from the market.
⇒ This article in an excerpt from EUWID's monthly report on the German paper market. The EUWID Price Watch Germany for July will be published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 31 on 1 August.
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