Contributors to the current Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World Mirror have said that prices for recovered paper and cardboard look set to keep rising.
BIR Recovered Paper president and chief executive of Paprec in France Jean-Luc Petithuguenin said that following a year of OCC surpluses and low prices, the economic slowdown from Covid-19 led to a boost in demand and prices.
He added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought an increase in prices but a global economic slowdown. Prices are high again and market fundamentals are back on track, but not for the reasons we had hoped.
“The real question is how we are going to face up to the economic boost once the virus has been tackled. In effect, there should be no stocks left.
“Hopefully, prices will remain high owing to an increase in demand that will be sustained by the economic boom, and international trading will start again.”
This was echoed by Ranjit Baxi, chairman, J&H Sales in the UK who wrote: “Markets are all preparing for fibre imports at higher prices following the drop in collection volumes during the second quarter.
“Looking further ahead, everyone is waiting to see how the global markets will stabilise with the easing of lockdowns and the resumption of normal trade channels, with increased availability of container space at much-reduced freight rates compared to the high levels of the first quarter.”
Viridor Resource Management managing director Keith Trower added: “UK industry remains fairly buoyant despite the fact that restrictions are continuing to impact production, collection volumes and recycling rates.
“Demand for recyclates has actually increased owing to restrictions on businesses and the enforced lockdown causing lower volumes to be produced.
“Mixed paper pricing has remained relatively stable. Packaging demand is strong and increasing owing to the ‘Amazon factor’ as more households order groceries and other items online.”
But BIR contributor Ekrem Demircioglu from Turkey warned that “imports have almost stopped” in the country and that the recovered paper collection rate in Turkey has decreased to 35%.
He added: “In the final week of March and at the beginning of April, a few mills have temporarily stopped operating in order to protect the health of their workers. Since no-one has a clear idea about what is to come, it is difficult to comment about market prospects.”