Prices for ordinary recovered paper grades on the Polish market have remained broadly stable since increasing in October. Despite the steady prices, merchants say the market has not been calm. Discounts applied due to paper quality issues and a lack of transport capacity have been much-discussed topics in the talks between merchants and buyers. Once again, collection volumes in Poland were low but demand was also subdued.
Paper mills were complaining more than ever about the quality of the received material, merchants say. One seller reported being in constant contact with customers: "Sometimes the bales are too heavy, sometimes too light, sometimes the quality is not high enough. They are looking for problems everywhere."
From mid-December, there was a massive shortage of transport capacity in Poland, EUWID was told. In the final week of the year, it was almost impossible to find a free lorry. These problems are a familiar occurrence but customers seem surprised by this every year, says one respondent. Since all of the key paper mills in Poland as well as most producers in eastern Germany officially continued production over the year-end holidays, a steady supply of material was important.
Despite the restricted deliveries at the end of the year, recovered paper stocks at paper mills apparently did not fall to critically low levels. Occasionally, buyers were asking in early January for price reductions of €5/t for supermarket paper and board, according to EUWID respondents, but it appeared in the second week of January that these attempts would be unsuccessful....