With prices in decline, coated and uncoated fine paper suppliers are following the trend in pulp costs with concern and complaining about US-dollar gaining strength against the euro.
Woodfree coated papers are losing ground on the Italian market. In January, coated reels and sheets have become cheaper again. Including the markdowns taken in November and December, it was very unusual for producers to have held on to anything from the September mark-up, insiders commented. One supplier claimed not to have lowered its prices in January, but has postponed the price cut to coated paper to February deliveries instead.
Paper suppliers held diverging views about how the Italian market had fared in January. Some insiders felt that January had been an exceptionally slow month and had followed on seamlessly from the weak ordering seen in the fourth quarter. Others said that the new year had started off well from the outset and that they had good order backlogs at the end of the month.
Woodfree paper suppliers are following the trend in pulp costs with concern and complaining about the euro loosing strength against the US-dollar. Bleached eucalyptus pulp from South America had risen by only a couple of US-dollar in January, but the increase in cost of raw materials supply was huge when converted into euros, one paper producer noted.