Weak demand and a relatively strong pound Sterling continue to put pressure on prices for CWF paper in the UK.
British woodfree coated paper prices had already started to wobble in February. EUWID sources confirmed almost unanimously in March that coated grades cost around £20 less than at the beginning of the year. Large sheets first became cheaper then reel prices also headed south even though they were more stable. Suppliers that did not want to make price concessions expected to lose orders to their competitors as a result.
There are many reasons why prices have fallen. In addition to generally slow demand, the key factors are manufacturers' pricing policies and the pound Sterling exchange rate, which brings financial benefits especially for Eurozone manufacturers. "Lowering prices was unavoidable. The strong pound is encouraging suppliers to take a much more relaxed approach to pricing and make concessions," one market insider told EUWID.
In addition, one company is presently trying to regain market share and offering low prices. Lead times have dipped slightly over the past few weeks and now stand at two to three weeks. One manufacturer has decided to counter the drop in prices by shutting down machines and intends to remove around 20,000 t of paper from the market over the Easter holidays.