NL-Tilburg, November 27th 2022
With increasing resistance from buyers in Asia, it seems that the limit to price increases in low grades has been reached. Whereas last week buyers were quick to respond to offers at higher prices again, they are now holding off as much as possible. That does not mean that some orders will not be won at better conditions, but the general trend is: up to here and no further. That does not say much about what is to come, but with significant downtime in the packaging paper sector announced all over the world, demand for recovered paper grades will decrease and probably dry up quickly towards the end of the year. Several countries in Europe have also reported high stocks of finished as well as recovered paper at packaging paper producers. Some mills are even said to be experiencing necessary shutdowns because there is simply no more space to store unsold recycled medium and test liner. That does not sound good with the prospect of production capacity growth in Europe of some three million tonnes in the next one-and-a-half to two years. With more availability of containers and road transport and associated lower shipping rates, ex works prices for low grades recovered paper may still increase somewhat, although buyers will also want to take advantage of this quickly. We should not count ourselves rich just yet. For that matter, current export prices remain well above local European levels. Locally in Europe, the market is currently quite different in different countries. Where stocks of recovered and finished paper are higher there are no attempts to keep pace with exports. Where stocks are better, say lower, we see price differences with exports narrowing. In the middle and better grades, pressure on prices remains unabated. There too, however, tension in the supply chain now seems to be easing. Prices for graphic finished paper are also going down, although the level is still much higher than before corona. But printers are again being approached by the paper industry for orders, which has been quite different in the last six months. So as things stand, significant price reductions for the middle grades of recovered paper will also be unavoidable in December. There may be major differences, as the prices paid by different buyers for middle grades may differ by as much as € 50 per tonne or more. Buyers with more expensive contracts choose the path of less intake, citing the familiar excuses. At the lower end, incidentally, there is little room for further reduction: for most middlegrades there is also an alternative in export and
there prices remain stable for the time being. Where all this leads to, we hope to report next week.
Euwid reported this week that in Austria, from 1 January next, no more loads of waste (including recycling producers ?) of 10 tonnes or more may be transported via traditional road transport (diesel . . .) over a distance of more than 300 km. If this also applies to recovered paper, plastics, scrap metal and textiles, that is also a kind of export ban. Alternative transport is as yet only available by train without limitation. However, with current rates and often long journey times, this is hardly an alternative. What is an alternative is to transport loads of 10 tonnes or less. That transport will then be 2.5 times as expensive and not exactly an improvement for the environment.
Price indication in Europe for low grades of recovered paper, sorted, baled and ex works are now between € 40 and € 80 per tonne. These prices are depending on quality, available volume, region and loaded weight.
Look here at the Price chart >>
The price chart gives an indication of the price of mixed paper, separately collected, in the Netherlands free delivered mill over the last 10 years.
Scrolling over the top of the columns gives the exact price indication in Euro's per tonne.