European mill stoppages cause concern for recyclers

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Paper pulp

A number of European paper mills have halted production amid plummeting demand and rising costs, a key report has warned.

The Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR) latest World Mirror study found that machines were being stopped in France and Scandanavia in particular.

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A “widespread drop-off” in consumption had reduced demand for packaging and caused “challenging conditions” for the recovered fibre sector, the report said.

“From France, it is reported that the recovered fibre industry‚Äôs mill customers are struggling for orders and that machine stops are happening every month as a response to market conditions,” the BIR added.

In Germany, rising costs and reduced trading volumes were causing an “increasingly problematic” environment for paper recyclers and producers, said the report.

Meanwhile a continuing decline in demand for graphic paper had resulted in thinner order books and production stops for many mills in Scandinavia in recent months.

Slightly further afield, just 70 per cent of Turkey’s paper-production capacity was used in the second quarter of 2023.

The BIR noted one bright spot, however, with freight rates to Asia coming down “significantly”.