Publishers and printers are asking for lower newsprint prices in a market shaped by a sustained downturn in paper consumption.
Negotiations to settle on prices for the third quarter or entire second half of the year are in progress on France’s publication paper market. After another round of mark-ups at the start of the year, buyers and sellers tend to be discussing price reductions for newsprint. Buyers are demanding markdowns of up to 10 per cent or a return to prices charged before the last hike – something that producers oppose. For their part, manufacturers have set their sights on keeping prices unchanged until the year’s end.
Conditions on the market have tended to shift to favour buyers over the past few months. Consequently, smaller price cuts are under discussion at the moment. The first results of the talks looked to be on the horizon in the penultimate week of May, with talks likely dragging on into June.
These discussions are taking place in a market shaped by a sustained downturn in paper consumption amid more or less unchanged capacity. Last year, previous capacity closures had taken effect and exporting to non-European markets was attractive. Neither of these is now the case.
However, demand for newsprint is not worse than expected, producers said. Some manufacturers described business and demand in France as relatively decent. Yet, the publishing business also continues to feel the effects of many newspapers seeing dwindling circulation. Stable paper consumption by retailers is unable to make up for this effect, either. Some buyers call off less paper than contracted.
This article is an excerpt from EUWID's monthly report on the publication paper market in France.
Find the EUWID Price Watch France for May in EUWID Pulp and Paper issue no 22/2019, which will be available to our e-paper and print subscribers as of 29 May.