European consumers' woodpulp stocks fall 40,215 tonnes, or 6.3%, in March over February, to 597,487 tonnes; year-over-year consumption drops 0.8%: Utipulp

LOS ANGELES , April 17, 2014 () – European consumers’ inventories of woodpulp declined 40,215 tonnes, or 6.3%, in March over February, to 597,487 tonnes, according to data released today by Utipulp. The stocks declined 6.1% compared to March 2013’s 636,383 tonnes.

This was the first time since September 2013’s record 585,137 tonnes that monthly stocks have fallen below 600,000 tonnes.

In March 2014, consumers had 19 days of stocks, down from 20 days in February and 21 days in January. In March 2013 they had 20 days, as well as in April and May of 2013. They had 19 days from June 2013 through November 2013 and 20 days in December 2013.

The consumption of woodpulp in Europe in March 2014 fell 7,577 tonnes, or 0.8% compared to March 2013, to 1,002,395 tonnes. The March 2014 consumption jumped 85,554 tonnes, from February 2014, or 9.3%. (There was no month between March 2013’s 1,009,972 tonnes and March 2014 in which consumption reached 1 million tonnes.)

All of the sectors had month-over-month declines in stocks in March 2014. European woodpulp users’ stocks of bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) dropped 23,719 tonnes, or 6.3%, to 352,050 tonnes, and bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) stocks fell 12,695 tonnes, or 5.3%, to 226,810 tonnes.

In March over February, bleached softwood sulfite pulp stocks went down 613 tonnes, or 5.5%, to 10,448 tonnes, while bleached hardwood sulfite pulp stocks declined 2,710 tonnes, or 47.6%, to 2,985 tonnes.

Unbleached sulfite and kraft stocks crept down 477 tonnes, or 8.4%, to 5,195 tonnes.

March stocks compared to those of February have risen in in eight of the previous 18 years, while year-over-year consumption has increased in nine 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. In January and February 2014 the respective totals were 651,707 tonnes and 637,702 tonnes.

European woodpulp consumers have been maintaining only minimal stocks for several years. In the past, the stocks had sometimes been as high as 1.3 million tonnes or 1.4 million tonnes. In December 2006, consumers’ stocks dropped below 1 million tonnes and ever since, they have been moving in an overall downward direction. In 2012 and 2013 they were never reached as much as 700,000 tonnes.

In 2012, consumption was above 1 million tonnes only in March, May and June, and October. In 2013, it was above that figure 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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