During the early part of the year, the Ukraine conflict has had a big impact on the market. At the same time, some mills in Europe are temporarily stopping production owing to high energy prices while transportation costs are also increasing month on month. There was a substantial shortage of transport capacity at the beginning of the year but the situation started to look a little better in March. Some transport companies have implemented an “emergency surcharge” to secure truck capacity and drivers.
Demand for both OCC and graphic papers has been, and remains, high. There was a decline in collection volumes in January and February this year but a return to high levels was seen in March.
The North European market for OCC and mixed paper has been quite stable, with export prices and demand from Asia starting to increase. There has also been rising demand from Finland and the Baltic countries. As mentioned, some mills in Europe have suspended production.
High demand and increasing prices have been witnessed for newsprint and graphic papers, with the lack of logistics capacity and high transport prices remaining a challenge during the first quarter. Demand for insulation production increased again during the quarter and requirements for OINP were even higher than in the previous three months.