European Fine Paper Demand Stagnant in April

June 05, 2009 - Market conditions remained flat in April for European fine papermakers, as deliveries stayed down, especially to customers outside the European Union, according to data released by the European association of fine paper manufacturers (CEPIFINE).

Total shipments of both coated and uncoated woodfree papers fell even more in April compared to March. Coated woodfree deliveries were down 26.2% to 571,000 tonnes in a year-over-year comparison to April 2008 and uncoated woodfree was down 19.3% to 602,000 tonnes.

In March, total coated woodfree deliveries showed a 23.3% year-over-year decline while uncoated woodfree was down 10.1%.

For the first four months of the year compared with the same period in 2008, total coated woodfree deliveries were off 27.0% at 2.363 million tonnes and uncoated was down 17.7% at 2.472 million tonnes.

Coated woodfreedeliveries to customers outside Europe fell 45.4% in April to 95,000 tonnes. In March, deliveries outside Europe totaled 102,000 tonnes.

The decline wasn't as steep for uncoated woodfree deliveries outside Europe — down only 3.8% from April a year ago, to 76,000 tonnes. But shipments to Europe worsened, dropping 21.1% to 526,000 tonnes. They had fallen 11.0% in March.

Domestically, coated woodfree deliveries fell 20.8% from April 2008 to 475,000 tonnes, down 506,000 in March.

Demand has weakened considerably in Europe, as well as in Asia and Latin America. Both European and U.S. producers have been taking downtime, but prices have fallen.

European Fine Paper Statistics

UWF: Uncoated woodfree grades are printing and writing papers made of chemical pulp.
CWF: Coated woodfree grades are UWF printing and writing papers, upon which one or more mineral coatings are added.
Europe: EU27, plus Norway and Switzerland.


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