Decor paper manufacturers and buyers have not yet found an agreement on prices for the first quarter of 2013 in many cases. Buyers demand reductions arguing that titanium dioxide prices have gone down.
Players on the decor paper market in Central Europe report that current price negotiations for deliveries in the first quarter of 2013 are dragging on longer than they used to in previous years. There have been only a few contracts signed so far, most of the negotiations were not concluded until the end of December or the beginning of January.
The backdrop to this situation is the widely diverging standpoints of the two sides, differing assessments of raw material markets and uncertainties regarding the further trend in decor paper demand. Decor paper producers entered into the negotiations on the basis of a continuation of existing prices, while buyers had aimed at receiving a proportional reduction in prices associated with lower prices for titanium dioxide. The progress of the negotiations so far indicates that prices for highly-filled 80 g decor papers will be slightly reduced.
Titanium dioxide prices have continuously declined in the last three quarters of 2012 and will probably do so again in the first quarter of 2013. However, decor paper manufacturers are reckoning with another turnaround in prices for titanium dioxide in the second or third quarter this year. In addition, they report that prices for eucalyptus pulp have shown only a marginal change in recent months and are still roughly 20% higher than they were at the beginning of 2012.
⇒ This article is an excerpt from EUWID's report on the German paper market.
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