Against the background of declining consumption of woodfree paper in Western Europe, prices for coated grades in France were under pressure in September and October.
Unlike their counterparts in the uncoated paper business, companies active on France's woodfree coated paper market encountered pressure on prices. Prices had crumbled in September or October, market players reported. Prices for all coated grades had become a few euro cheaper, in the case of sheets prices fell even more in some instances. Soft demand and lower-than-normal capacity utilisation continue to prevail. Suppliers claiming to have managed their output and capacity properly are an exception.
The coated woodfree market is exposed to chronically weak advertising business. All market insiders feel that the lack of this demand for paper will not return either. One producer said in summary that firms had to get used to this situation and reduce their capacities accordingly. Otherwise, sustained pressure on prices was on the cards.
Market observers thus had to question whether additional capacity closures would be announced in the immediate future or whether suppliers would try to kill each other off through cut-throat competition. The suppliers' situation may quickly evolve into a crisis if pulp prices rose.
⇒ This article is an excerpt from EUWID's monthly report on the French paper market. The EUWID Price Watch France for October is being published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 44 on 31 October.
Our weekly newsletter's print and e-paper versions keep busy professionals up-to-date on the latest news from European pulp and paper markets.
⇒ Test EUWID Pulp and Paper free of charge and without any obligation by clicking here.