Against the background of declining consumption suppliers of newsprint to the French market are trying to increase or at least maintain prices stable. Market insiders say that downtime or more capacity closures are the only way to adapt supply to demand.
Manufacturers feel that France is among the weaker European newsprint markets. They varyingly described demand there as "average and still alright" to "very weak". Advertising spending was being diverted to other areas instead of print advertisements in newspapers. At any rate, French supermarkets continue to use large amounts of advertising material that is printed on improved newsprint in many instances. The economic outlook in France is also rather uncertain, with no signs yet of the economic stimulus promised by France's new government.
Buyers and sellers have also started their tug-of-war over second-half prices in France. Hardly any market players now expect prices to rise, with stable prices tending to be producers' goal. However, lower prices are also thought to be possible.
A small number of deals have apparently already been struck at unchanged prices, but quite a few agreements already feature slightly lower prices.
⇒ This article in an excerpt from EUWID's monthly report on the French paper market which is published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 26 on 27 June.
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