Corrected: European consumers' woodpulp stocks drop 14,309 tonnes, or 2.2%, in February over January, to 623,393 tonnes; year-over-year consumption declines 3.0%: Utipulp

LOS ANGELES , March 18, 2014 () – Industry Intelligence editor's note: The headline in the original posting of this article showed an incorrect consumption decline percentage and has since been corrected.

European consumers’ inventories of woodpulp fell 14,309 tonnes, or 2.2%, in February over January, to 623,393 tonnes, according to data released today by Utipulp. The stocks also fell 2.2% compared to February 2013’s 637,366 tonnes.

Consumers had 20 days of stocks in February 2014, down from 21 days in January. In February 2013 they had 21 days. They had 20 days in December 2013 and 19 days from June 2013 through November 2013.

February 2014 consumption of woodpulp in Europe dropped 28,780 tonnes, or 3.0%, compared to February 2013, to 916,841 tonnes. February 2014 consumption fell 63,754 tonnes from January 2014, or 6.5%.

European woodpulp users’ stocks of bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) increased 1,965 tonnes in February over January, or 0.5%, to 375,769 tonnes, and bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) stocks dropped 12,348 tonnes, or 4.9%, to 239,505 tonnes.

In February over January, bleached softwood sulfite pulp stocks declined 1,874 tonnes, or 14.5%, to 11,061 tonnes, while bleached hardwood sulfite pulp stocks dropped 1,298 tonnes, or 18.6%, to 5,695 tonnes.

Unbleached sulfite and kraft stocks decreased 450 tonnes, or 7.4%, to 5,672 tonnes.

February stocks compared to those of January have risen in in nine of the previous 18 years, while year-over-year consumption has decreased in 10 of the previous 17 years.

Statistics context. Utipulp stocks reached a record low of 585,137 tonnes in September 2013. They reached their highest level of 2013 in January, at 670,517 tonnes.

European woodpulp consumers have been maintaining only minimal stocks for several years. In December 2006, consumers’ stocks dropped below 1 million tonnes and ever since, they have remained in that vicinity. In years past, the stocks were sometimes as high as 1.3 million tonnes or 1.4 million tonnes.

As reported early in 2012, Utipulp revised its figures for the preceding years due to “a light modification of the statistical sample,” which changed the most previous low up to that time, reached in November 2011, to 629,133 tonnes instead of the originally reported 647,272 tonnes. In 2012, the monthly stocks were below 629,000 tonnes in June, July, August, September, and October, including 599,628 tonnes in July 2012 and 591,712 tonnes in September 2012. Since then the monthly stocks have been no higher than January 2013’s 670,517 tonnes.

Given Utipulp’s modified statistical sample, consumption during the 12 months of 2011 was below 1 million tonnes in every month except January, March, May, and October. In 2012, consumption was above 1 million tonnes only in March, May and June, and October. So far in 2013 the consumption has been above 1 million tonnes only in March.

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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