Price negotiations to be tough, paper producers will try to maintain prices stable
Manufacturers and buyers of publication paper in France are currently in talks on prices for the second half of the year. In the newsprint segment, the market situation is slightly different compared with 6-8 months ago when the last price hikes were negotiated. While paper consumption continues to fall, there are signs of a surplus in supply which is a situation that puts buyers at an advantage. These are asking for price cuts and that at least the price hikes of 1 January be retracted.
Demands for price cuts are particularly pronounced in France, where the last round of negotiations were concluded relatively swiftly and where prices in the market are consequently also relatively high. While paper manufacturers at the beginning of the year still insisted they would try and achieve further hikes as of 1 July, they have lowered their demands and entered the latest negotiations with the intention of keeping prices unchanged.
Negotiations on prices for the second half of the year or third quarter are also being held in the magazine paper segment in France as elsewhere in Europe. Here, too, market conditions have slightly changed in favour of buyers. While manufacturers still had hopes and plans for price hikes several months ago, it does not look as if these could be implemented in the second half of the year. Customers are asking for prices to be cut by €20-25, manufacturers are not willing to agree for anything less than unchanged prices.