May Paper Market Update

May LSC Paper Market Update 05.2022.pdf (324.28 kb)

Finnish Paperworkers’ Union Strike Ends

The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has ended its strike at most of UPM’s Finnish mills after 3 months and 22 days. UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union have agreed on first-ever business-specific collective labor agreements for five UPM businesses: UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac, and UPM Biofuels units in Finland. The contract period of the new agreements is four years. Approximately 700,000 tons of capacity were lost during the strike, including around 285K tonnes of CM and 102K tonnes of SC. UPM will restart customer deliveries as soon as possible.

Coated Freesheet Prices Hit Record

Coated freesheet (CFS) paper prices are now at their highest level in North America since 2010 (RISI). So far in 2022, CFS average prices increased $75/ton and are more than $200/ton and more than 20% higher compared with April 2021 levels. Most paper suppliers no longer support quarterly price adjustments and have eliminated price caps. High input costs, especially for energy, transportation, chemicals, and pulp, continue to drive mill price increases.

AF&PA Releases its March 2022 Printing-Writing Monthly Report

According to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), total printing-writing paper shipments increased one percent in March compared to March 2021, while U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers increased three percent in March compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased three percent when compared to February 2022.

  • U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) in March increased 24 percent compared to last March, while the inventory level decreased three percent compared to February 2022. CFS imports increased 34 percent, while exports remained essentially flat (-0.2 percent) in February 2022.
  • Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments decreased 14 percent compared to March 2021, while the inventory level decreased two percent compared to February 2022. CM imports and exports both decreased compared to February 2021, down 21 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
  • In March, U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers remained essentially flat (-0.3 percent) compared to last March, while the inventory level decreased 15 percent compared to February 2022. UM, imports and exports both increased compared to February 2021, up to five percent and 62 percent, respectively.

 

Demand and Operating Rate Forecasts (RISI)

 

U.S. Economy and Paper End-Use Indicators

N.A. Coated Paper Operating Rates

U.S. Economy and Paper End-Use Indicators

 

 

 

 

 

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