In a number of cases paper producers succeeded to increase prices for uncoated fine paper in Germany against the background of high cost pressure and slightly tightening supplies. Market insiders say that there is not much time left until summer to finalise price hikes.
There is a slight upward trend in price quotes for woodfree uncoated paper in Germany, EUWID respondents agree. Although the price hikes announced by most producers were not being implemented too easily, there have been small price rises for copy paper (C branded paper) and, to a lesser extend, also for reels and folio sheets. However, this is represents more of a return to normal price levels after a “discount frenzy” rather than a real price increase, market experts said. “It is key that low-priced offers are being removed from the market”, say observers.
EUWID respondents in Germany report that supplies of all woodfree uncoated grades are fairly limited. Customers often had to look around to find volumes and material was being delivered with delays, insiders said.
It is questionable how long paper factories can maintain the current price demands. They stress that they are reacting to more expensive raw materials, but “activity levels in the mills will fall considerably, as they do every summer”, critics point out. They are also sceptical about the participation of wholesalers in these efforts, although wholesalers in Germany maintained that they wanted to take part and had brought the price increases to the market.
⇒ This article is an excerpt from EUWID's report on the German paper market published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 18 of 3 May.
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