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OCC prices increased by some Euro 15 per tonne on average between mid-July and the beginning of August, thus recovering to the same levels achieved prior to May. Since then, prices have remained stable although supply has been tight owing to lower collection volumes in major cities during the summer holiday period.

Demand from South East Asia and also from India has been quite strong at competitive prices. Availability of vessels and containers improved during the summer but remained tight. Stock levels in yards have been generally low.

There were higher prices for the deinking grades during this period, although with stronger resistance from the scarce number of paper mills able to consume these grades. Better ex-works prices have often been seen when sending to other European countries than when supplying domestic outlets despite the huge transportation costs. Here too, stock levels are generally weak.

Price levels for the white grades increased three months in a row and by around 15% in total during the third quarter. Stock levels are extremely low while domestic demand is really high, not only from white packaging paper producers but also from tissue makers. These grades are usually sold entirely within Spain as export prices are generally lower.

Paper mills are running their machines at full capacity in response to their good order books and currently seem able to afford these raw material price increases. However, they must now face up to a major new challenge: the huge increase in the cost of the energy required to run those machines.