The European recovered paper market was stagnant at the start of this year, according to a key report.
The Bureau of International Recycling’s World Mirror publication said falling fibre prices were “part of daily life” in sections of the continent in January.
A period of low demand for recovered paper that settled in at the end of last year had not lifted at the start of 2024, the report said.
“In late December, many paper and board manufacturers implemented longer shutdowns than normal around the holiday period, contributing ultimately to an enforced price reduction on the lower grades despite resistance from sellers, it is reported from Germany,” said the BIR.
“Weak demand and falling prices are said to have become part of daily life for those companies handling the high grades. Despite low collection volumes, strong competition from pulp is said to be making substitutes difficult to sell.”
The BIR report said attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea had impacted on overseas trade, with rising costs and extended transit times.
Meanwhile Asian markets continued to face their own challenges, with mills and collectors in Turkey unable to raise prices in line with high inflation, according to the study.
The BIR also noted a drop in US export volumes of recovered paper to India, Indonesia, Taiwan and South Korea.
But the homegrown market for recycled fibre is buoyant across the Atlantic.
“Domestic mills remain nervous about securing sufficient feedstock to keep their machines running and so have been bidding up prices. OCC, mixed paper and DLK are said to be much in demand across the whole of the US.”