European consumers' woodpulp stocks increase by 5,152 tonnes, or 0.9%, in April over March, to 602,639 tonnes; year-over-year consumption drops 3.6%: Utipulp

LOS ANGELES , May 19, 2014 () – European consumers’ inventories of woodpulp increased by 5,152 tonnes, or 0.9%, in April over March, to 602,639 tonnes, according to data released May 16 by Utipulp. The stocks declined 4.4% compared to April 2013’s 630,620 tonnes.

In April 2014, consumers had 19 days of stocks, the same as in March but down from 20 days in February and 21 days in January. In April 2013, they had 20 days. For the second half of 2013, consumers had 19 days of inventory from June through November and 20 days in December 2013.

The consumption of woodpulp in Europe in April 2014 was 936,813 tonnes, down 34,615 tonnes, or 3.6% compared to April 2013. Compared to the prior month, the April 2014 consumption fell by 65,583 tonnes, 6.5%. (There was no month between April 2013’s 1,009,972 tonnes and March 2014 in which consumption reached 1 million tonnes.)

European woodpulp users' inventories increased month-over-month for all of the sectors in April 2014, except for bleached softwood kraft pulp.

Compared to the prior month, April 2014 inventories of bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) rose by 7,739 tonnes, or 2.2%, to 359,789 tonnes, but bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) stocks fell by 10,993 tonnes, or 4.8%, to 215,817 tonnes.

In April over March, bleached softwood sulfite pulp inventories went up by 2,640 tonnes, or 25.3%, to 13,088 tonnes, while bleached hardwood sulfite pulp stocks jumped by 4,708 tonnes, or 63.4%, to 7,693 tonnes.

Unbleached sulfite and kraft inventories grew month-over-month in April by 1,056 tonnes, or 20.3%, to 6,251 tonnes.

April stocks compared to those of March have risen in in 10 of the previous 18 years, while year-over-year consumption has increased in six 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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