Paper and Publishing News – December 2013

The year has flown by and now there are only six days to go before Christmas.

It has been a challenging year and I'd like to thank all of our customers for their much valued support. It is as always a privilege to work with you.

I'd also like to thank the team at Gould for the hard work that they have put in these last 12 months.

This year has been one of continuing consolidation within the paper industry with yet more paper machine closures. Next year we expect the trend to continue as the mills tackle the problem of surplus capacity.

As a result we should see some stability brought to the market and while there is still rumour of an increase to woodfree prices at some stage during the 1st quarter, pricing for all other publication grades should now hold for the 1st half of 2014.

On behalf of everyone at Gould Publication Papers, I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a successful and happy New Year.

Dominic and all at Gould UK

Paper

Burgo are to cease production on PM2 at their Avezzano mill which will take >130000tpa of CWF product out of the market. This follows the closure of PM1 last year.

Dutch newsprint specialist Parenco are still considering options for the future of PM2 at Renkum which produces >225000tpa newsprint, which has been idled for an indefinite period.

UPM have reported a rise in Q3 profits in spite of declines in both pricing and volumes.

Likewise, StoraEnso in spite of ongoing re-structuring and continued speculation about a working liaison with UPM, have reported a Q3 high earnings/profit outcome in spite of falling sales.

Aylesford Newsprint celebrate one year in new ownership and are feeling the benefits of in excess of 1 million tones of newsprint closures during the same period, even though European market demands continue to decline.

Due to EU Aid limitations, Kendal-based James Cropper are to scrap their investment plans in the planned steam generation plant.

The US market shows signs of prices for Uncoated Freesheet (woodfree) moving upwards for the first time in over two years.

US manufacturing giant New Page will shut PM12 at their Maine site, in February 2014, for a yet-to-be stated time period. This will take >100000tpa of coated freesheet & speciality packaging grades out of the market.

Publishing - Catalogue – Retail - Mail Order

Cat News

A recent survey by C4B has shown that catalogues are a major driver in multi-channel sales. They account for >30% of sales plus a further 29% when partnered with online sales.

Retail News

Electronic technology takes over with Argos expanding the use of in-store iPads instead of pencils at key stores, Asda have now launched a click & collect service at six London Underground sites as a market test.

Publishing News

The PPA has voted the ‘Vote Dalek’ design of the 2005 Radio Times as the greatest magazine cover in the past 100 years. The Beano was runner up!

Eagle Moss has launched two new partworks – Dr Who & Star Trek Special Collections.

Country Life magazine had Prince Charles as guest editor of the November 13th edition of its weekly publication, in celebration of his 65th birthday.

Environmental

The renewal of their Responsibility Deal with the Government in 2014 was the keynote session at the recent PPA Environmental Forum. Main focus for publishers was the continued mission to reduce waste across a raft of issues. In the previous deal period to 2013, the recycling target of 70% was exceeded with a high of 82%.

Interesting turn of events given the new EUTR/995 regulations and the long established US Lacey Act – China are insisting on more transparency of source content for NBSK (pulp) imports from the USA into China.

FSC held another ‘open meeting’ in November to update certificate holders on the detail behind the soon to be introduced Online Claims Platform (OCP).

Some adjustments to the timetable have been introduced but the main thrust for existing certificate holders will be to engage in registration etc between April –December 2014 in order that it can be launched in January 2015.

Printing

Axel Springer reports that digital growth has offset (!) their declining print market in the first nine months of 2013.

NewsCorp reported a return to profit in Q3 which was its first full quarter since Rupert Murdoch sold off the newspaper sector from his empire.