European woodpulp consumers' stocks fall back month-over-month in January, by 1.1%, while year-over-year consumption decreases by 4.4%: Utipulp

LOS ANGELES , February 19, 2012 () – Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: Utipulp said in its January report, “The figures for the preceding years have been changed, due to a light modification of the statistical sample.”

In January, European woodpulp consumers’ stocks fell from December by 7,330 tonnes, or 1.1%, to 634,982 tonnes, according to data released during the weekend by Utipulp.

Stocks remained at 20 days. In January 2011, stocks were at 19 days.

Stocks remain at near-record lows. The lowest was in July 2010, when stocks dropped to a record low of 640,148 tonnes, or 19 days. Stocks were also at 19 days in January, October, and November of 2011, but otherwise, since July 2010, they have been in the 20-21 day range.

Stocks have trended low since dropping to fewer than 1 million tonnes in December 2006, as consumers maintain only minimal inventories.

In January, consumption fell year-over-year by 44,996 tonnes, or 4.4%, to 969,889 tonnes. In January over December, they rose by 156,341 tonnes, or 19.2%. This was the third month in a row in which consumption was under 1 million tonnes. Given Utipulp’s modified statistical sample, consumption also was under 1 million tonnes in 2011 in February, April, June, July, August, and September.

In January 2012, stocks increased for bleached hardwood kraft but decreased for bleached softwood kraft pulp.

Bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) stocks increased by 3,734 tonnes, or 1.1%, to 349,381 tonnes, compared to December.

Bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) stocks increased month-over-month in January, by 9,361 tonnes, or 3.5%, to 258,626 tonnes.

Month-over-month bleached softwood sulfite pulp stocks increased by 1,115 tonnes, or 9.6%, to 12,740 tonnes, while bleached hardwood sulfite pulp stocks fell by 3,486 tonnes, or 37.4%, to 5,813 tonnes. Unbleached sulfite and kraft pulp stocks increased by 668 tonnes, or 8.6%, to 8,422 tonnes.

January stocks compared to those of December have risen in nine of the previous 16 years, while year-over-year consumption has decreased in nine of the previous 15 years.

The Utipulp statistics include kraft and sulfite pulp figures from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Figures for Spain go back only to January 2001, but since Spain has few users, its data are a small part of the overall Utipulp totals.

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