European woodpulp port stocks fall 7.5% in February over January, drop 8.0% year-over-year: Europulp

LOS ANGELES , March 15, 2013 () – European woodpulp port stocks declined 78,883 tonnes in February over January, or 7.5%, to 966,502 tonnes, according to Europulp data released today.

The February 2013 stocks decreased 8.0%, or 84,588 tonnes, over those of February 2012’s 1,051,090 tonnes.

Today’s report from Europulp also included a 10,048 tonne upward revision for the January total because the Spain number was revised to 53,237 tonnes. This put total January 2013 results 5.0% lower than those of December 2012 and 16.0% lower than those of January 2012.

Following are the country-by-country February 2013 figures, in tonnes: (respective February-over-January and year-over-year percentages in parentheses): Netherlands/Belgium — 363,040 (-14.0%; -14.1%); France — 69,219 (-20.4%; -13.2%), UK — 48,290 (7.2%; 81.6%); Germany — 122,238 (-11.8%; -26.4%); Switzerland — 5,001 (55.6%; -44.8%); Italy — 289,083 (-2.3%; -2.8%); Spain — 69,631 (30.8%; 41.1%).

Stats perspective. The February results bring inventories back below 1 million tonnes, which was also the case most recently in November (920,856 tonnes, October (980,455 tonnes), and June (912,478 tonnes). June’s figure marked the first time inventories had fallen below 1 million tonnes since 2010 and all of the monthly stocks in 2011 were above 1 million tonnes. But they declined overall in 2012.

September 2011’s 1,460,219 tonnes marked the first time since April 2009 that stocks had surpassed 1.4 million tonnes, and in October, November, and December of 2011 they were in the high 1.3 million tonne range, before falling to 1.2 million tonnes in January 2012.

The year-over-year decreases—in 2012 they fell 20.3% in December, 34.2% in November, 28.4% in October and 24.3% in September— also reflect those big drops, whereas until recently there was a big difference year-over-year. In 2012 they rose 10.6% in January, 2.8% in February, and 0.5% in March; they fell 4.3% in April and rose 10.4% in May, then fell 21.4% in June, 7.8% in July, and 1.7% in August 2012.

Looking at the later months of 2011, they jumped year-over-year, by 15.6% (December), 42.8% (November), 36.6% (October), and 75.0% (September), respectively.

Data background. Europulp figures describe stocks by location, but the numbers are already included in producer and consumer inventory data.

Europulp represents the associations of pulp sellers in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. Europulp began including Spanish port stocks in its data in 2004, but its historical statistics for Spain revert back to January 2003. When Europulp began reporting statistics in 1999, it included only the Netherlands/Belgium, France, and the U.K.; the other countries have been added over the years.

As a result, it is not possible to accurately compare current data with previous years. That said, in the years since statistics became available in 1999, February port stocks, compared to those in January, have risen in seven of the previous 14 years.

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