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Uncoated Freesheet Price Decline Rate Slowing

June 23, 2009 - Although pricing continues to slide for uncoated freesheet, the rate of decline is slowing, industry observers say.

According to Mark Wilde, senior analyst at Deutsche Bank, June saw lower prices for offset rolls, cutsize, and converting grades with most declines in $5-10/ton range.

Prices on 50-lb offset rolls fell $10/ton to $810-855/ton, while spot and import prices are below $800/ton.

Prices on cutsize grades were down $5/ton to $1020-1080/ton – still above year-ago prices, while spot and import prices are below $1000/ton.

As a result of reduced advertising and commercial printing (volumns in April down 17.2% year-over-year) and increased competition, along with a shift to coated freesheet, the gap between roll and offset pricing continues to widen, Wilde reported.

The two market leaders, Domtar and IP have been taking significant downtime, Wilde noted.

May preliminary shipment data shows volumes down 14.7% compared to May 2008, with year-to-date shipments down 15.8% (y/y), Wilde added.

SOURCE: Deutsche Bank




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