A growing oversupply of mass grades and mounting pressure on prices were leaving their mark on the Polish recovered paper market as February got under way. Industry insiders said that the current state of affairs was the result of high collection volumes in Western Europe, large inventories at recyclers' yards and most paper mills in Central Europe, challenges in exporting to Ukraine and the widespread absence of demand from buyers in China.
The latest Russian ban on imports of a large number of different products from Ukraine has caused quite a bit of upheaval over the past few weeks – and not only in the Polish recovered paper trade. These rules were enacted on 29 December and apply to both products made in Ukraine and those in transit en route to their final destination. The list includes various kinds of food, agricultural products, raw materials and industrial products, including recycled corrugated case material – thus striking at the very heart of the Ukrainian paper industry.
Rising prices for transporting freight by rail and the lack of transport capacity are also hindering recovered paper exports to Ukraine at the moment, one seller said.