The situation on the German recovered paper market has eased somewhat despite the ongoing difficulties in the paper industry. The main reason for the let up in the pressure was the brisk business with exports to Asia, which continue to serve as an important outlet valve for this market. Prices for the ordinary grades therefore remained broadly stable in February. In western and northern Germany, close to the international ports, there were even slight price increases, especially for supermarket corrugated paper and board, according to market insiders.
Demand from the German paper industry is once again described as weak. According to respondents, many mills continue to limit the amount of recovered paper they purchase, as their order books are empty and their warehouses are well-filled with both new and recovered paper. Capacity utilisation in the industry reportedly stands at just 70-80 per cent at the moment. Thanks to exports, waste management companies have now been able to clear out the material backlog that accumulated as a result of year-end mill shutdowns and the seasonal up-tick in arisings.
The market situation had been much more strained in early January when many waste management companies were complaining their storage facilities were full because of the numerous downtimes taken in the paper industry. Consequently, prices of nearly all recovered paper grades fell last month. While the mark-downs for ordinary grades were relatively small, steeper drops were reported for sorted graphic paper for de-inking and multi printing in particular.
The complete market report and the table of prices changes of the individual recovered paper grades in January are available here: