The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Europe’s economic struggles are continuing to create uncertainty within a recovered paper market that is facing major challenges as a result of poor demand and low prices. On the plus side, the markets for OCC and mixed paper began to stabilize during the second half of last year’s final quarter, both in terms of prices and demand.
The region has yet to see any major decline in collections but, given that all the indications point to falling consumption, this will sooner or later have an impact on volumes.
The market for graphic qualities has remained quite stable; there has been some decrease in demand for deinking but mainly because of production problems at the mills. Stock levels are still high for both OCC and deinking but are at better levels than in the third quarter of last year.
Most of Scandinavia’s tissue mills are operating well and are enjoying high demand for their finished products, leading them to place healthy orders for SOP. Demand from insulation producers also continues to be high given that many members of the public are improving the insulation of their homes in response to high electricity prices.
Lack of logistics capacity is always a problem during the Christmas holidays but the situation was quite smooth at other times during the fourth quarter.