Market Update: Newsprint and SC-A

We don’t have the November AF&PA data for coated grades yet so another short update will be provided next week. Since Reel Time is not published this month, we decided to provide these mini-updates.

Newsprint: Publishers consumption in November was down 20.6% (y/y), and is now off by 24.6% through November. This is the best monthly (y/y) comparison since October 2008. These year-over-year comparisons will continue to improve. The December decline will be under 20%, and there is a good chance that declines will moderate to under 10% by February.

Offshore exports in November (177,000 tonnes) set the high level for 2009 but were still off  (y/y) by 12%. Several months ago we forecasted that (based on anecdotal reports) the 9-month slump for offshore exports was over, and that is being confirmed by the data. North American exports in 2010 will be much stronger than has been the case in 2009.

SC Grades: North American demand for SC-A  in November (116,800 tons) was up 3% (y/y) but down 12.4% (16,500 tons) from the previous month. This is disappointing data for producers. After a very good October, North American shipments to the domestic market were less than full capacity again in November.

North American SC-A imports were much stronger than earlier this year (33,000 tons) but still off by 14% (y/y).

North American SC-A exports blossomed this spring for the first time ever. Exports were 5,500 tons in November, about the average of the last half-year. This is a big help to the market – occupying roughly 4% of  North American SC-A capacity.

We will save our forecasts,  and pricing discussions for paying customers.


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