Paper manufacturers have partly succeeded in raising prices for coated fine paper on the Italian market after a good deal of toing and froing. Suppliers reported prices rising by up to 40 €/t.
Paper manufacturers and merchants said prices for coated woodfree paper have been pointing up since the start of April at the latest. Several buyers confirmed a 20-30 €/t price hike for coated woodfree sheets and reels. However, a number of large customers from the printing and publishing explained they were able to avoid paying higher prices due to six-month contracts running until the end of June. Some other claimed to have faced calls for increases of €25-30/t for deliveries as of April, but that they were not paying more in the second quarter as not all suppliers were all that serious about the current round of price talks and were still selling at unchanged prices.
Market insiders do not expect the price hikes implemented to date to stick around for long given the current trend in demand on the Italian woodfree coated paper market. Even though paper manufacturers were repeatedly stressing the need for higher prices for the industry to survive, they also knew they could not afford many more months of bad order books, a few buyers noted. Paper manufacturers retorted that the price was not the reason why sales were poor. Demand could not be generated artificially by offering low prices given the structural market weakness, they said.