Paper Market Update

June 2017

Most producers have announced a July 1 $2/cwt price increase on all coated grades in sheets and rolls. Some producers have announced the same increase for SC grades. The tariffs on Canadian SC grades into the US have been eliminated for Catalyst and reduced to 5.87% for Irving, while the tariffs still in place for Port Hawkesbury and Resolute are under appeal for further review by the US DOC. SC markets are weak. Resolute will exit the Coated #4 market by shutting their PM2. Over-supply in the uncoated freesheet market has caused low operating rates. Newsprint pricing is stable as capacity has recently been removed.

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May 2017

Newsprint producers in the North American West announced at$20/tonne price increase for June 1, while East pricing remains unchanged. The tariffs on Canadian SC grades into the US have been eliminated for Catalyst and reduced to 5.87% for Irving, while the tariffs for Port Hawkesbury and Resolute are under appeal for further review by the US DOC. SC markets are weak. Both the coated freesheet and coated groundwood markets suffer from over-supply and resulting market weakness. Demand for uncoated freesheet has been less than expected and operating rates have fallen.

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April 2017

Newsprint shipments down, enhanced by publisher inventory reductions. Expect the newsprint decline to stabilize when inventories are depleted and as recent capacity closures are implemented (Kruger and RFP). RISI is predicting mill cost inflation for all grades in H2 2017 and 2018, causing mill closures and stronger markets in 2018. Shipments of supercalendered paper are down 26% YTD. Sappi’s converting a coated freesheet machine to packaging grades in 2018.

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March 2017

No real changes this month…the coated paper markets are weak and paper is readily available. Uncoated freesheet operating rates are stable at low 90% range. The market for supercalendered grades has softened with increased pressures from coated groundwood availability. Newsprint continues its decline; however, newsprint shipments to commercial printers, which represents 30% of total newsprint demand in North America…were up 9.2% yr/yr in January.

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