Improved demand for woodfree coated paper in Germany as well as temporary shutdowns have led to a better market situation in the sector. However, price increases are far from being announced.
Woodfree coated paper manufacturers told EUWID that the market situation in Germany had improved significantly. After experiencing weak demand in January and February, they noted that printing companies were consuming more in March and that capacity utilisation on the paper machines was increasing. There was a clear positive trend, they said.
Yet critics say a full turnaround has not yet been achieved. Although the number of low-priced special deals had declined considerably, a price hike for coated woodfree paper seemed far off despite rising pulp prices. Any official announcement would be half-hearted and would probably fall flat owing to the multitude of half-year contracts, insiders say.
Nevertheless, producers have said they plan such a move but have not given a timeframe. Order situation has improved and incoming orders were better than expected, they told EUWID. This was partially due to the delayed effects of the closure of Biberist, they explained. Market insiders also report temporary shutdowns and a return to price discipline.