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Manufacturers announce another price increase for uncoated fine paper

23 Aug 2017 − 

Damage to PM at Stora Enso’s Veitsiluoto mill might give another boost to upward spiral in prices

Fine paper buyers and suppliers are not getting a moment of rest this summer. Prices have only just increased in July, but another round of mark-ups has already been announced for September in Germany and other European markets. Woodfree uncoated paper prices are set to climb by up to 5% if producers get their way. The renewed price hike will likely be underpinned by damage to Stora Enso's PM 2 at its Veitsiluoto paper plant. Scanter supply as a result coupled with attractive export opportunities and lower imports are to give a boost to price plans, especially in the copy paper segment.

Even though most EUWID contacts on the German woodfree uncoated paper market are ruling out the presence of a summer lull this year, a summer slowdown certainly seems to be palpable, at least for C-grade A4 paper. Observers mentioned that demand had been very subdued after the latest price rise in July. Many buyers are said to have filled up their warehouses in advance at the old price. It was rare that customers needed large amounts. Nonetheless, insiders mentioned having experienced an improvement in order activity since mid-August.

Contrary to many forecasts woodfree coated paper has cost more since July, as well. The pain threshold had simply been reached, EUWID sources in Germany stressed. Many machines are running the risk of running into negative cash flow. Prices had not been seen to soften in August as a rule, either, with producers only backpedalling in isolated cases

 This article is an excerpt from EUWID's report on the paper markets in Germany. The EUWID Price Watch Germany for August 2017 will be published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 36 on 6 September 2017.

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