US wastepaper average prices in April drop for OCC, DLK but up slightly for SOP, with regional price variation still significant to strong for all three grades; volumes decline for open market OCC, unchanged for DLK and contract sales of OCC

LOS ANGELES , May 19, 2014 () – With the exception of sorted office paper (SOP), U.S. national averages for recovered paper prices tracked by Market2Mill fell in April, while regional prices continued to vary strongly to significantly, as they did in February and March.

Compared to March, U.S. average prices last month were down US$12.61/ton, to end at $106.71, for open market old corrugated containers (OCC) and fell $11.47/ton, to $108.01/ton, for contract market OCC.

At the same time, the U.S. average price for new double-lined kraft (NDLK) corrugated cuttings was off $9.61/ton, to end at $128.53, while SOP was up $3.38/ton, to $160.17, according to Market2Mill’s report.

Market2Milll, which is Forest2Market Inc.’s wastepaper pricing service, did not report U.S. OCC export prices in April.

OCC prices decline in all regions. In both open market and contract sales, U.S. OCC prices in April declined in all the regions reporting, according to Market2Mill.

Another commonality this month involved the Pacific region, which incurred the steepest price drops in both OCC and DLK. However, California/Nevada had the least price deteriorate for open market sales of OCC.

In OCC open market sales, California/Nevada experienced a price decline of $6.38/ton, to end at $139.01, which was the second highest price among the regions reporting. Yet, the Pacific region saw prices plunge by $19.72/ton, to $113.35/ton.

The highest price among the regions reporting for OCC open market sales in April was $130.49/ton, which occurred in the Atlantic. The lowest price was the North Central’s $90.67/ton, Market2Mill reported.

For April contract sales of OCC, the Pacific region fell the most, sliding by $14.50/ton, to end at $110.46; but the lowest price among the regions was in the North Central, at $103.33/ton. The highest price was the Southeast’s $122.57/ton.

April prices varied strongly for contract sales both on a national average and for each area reporting, according to Market2Mill.

Market2Mill categorizes strong market price variation as the highest, with significant variation one below that level, followed by mild variation and lastly, little to no variation, in that descending order of intensity.

The price variation for open market OCC transactions also was strong in April. Four out of the six regions reporting experienced strong price variation and the other two saw significant price variation. California/Nevada did not report.

Volumes flat to down for OCC. Volumes for OCC open market sales were down overall, while volumes for OCC contract sales was flat overall.

In open market sales, OCC volumes fell significantly in three of the six regions reporting, but a significant increase was posted in one region while two others were flat. California/Nevada did not report.

For contract sales, OCC volumes were unchanged in one region, up in two others, and down in the last three that reported in April, according to Market2Mill.

For DLK prices, all price changes, except one, were decreases. The Atlantic region posted a gain of $2.95/ton, to end at $149.15, which was the highest price for April. The lowest price was $126.93/ton, which occurred in the Midwest.

The steepest price decline for DLK in April was the Pacific’s $17.01/ton, to end at $136.82, which was the second highest price among the regions reporting. The Pacific had the highest DLK price throughout the first quarter, based on Market2Mill’s reports.

The U.S average DLK price varied significantly in April, but this was far from the situation region to region. Two regions had strong variation, one experienced significant variation, one had mild variation, and the remaining two saw little to no variation.

DLK’s U.S. average volume was unchanged in April, with the gains canceling out the losses among the regions. One region was flat, three others were down, another one increased and the remaining region was up significantly.

For SOP, the two regions reporting April prices averaged out a national hike of $3.38/ton, to end at $160.17. The Midwest price was up $3.26/ton, to $149.27, while the Southwest price increased by $3.50/ton, to $170.08, Market2Mill reported.

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