Woodpulp port stocks in Europe drop an estimated 3.4% in May over April, rise 2.7% year-over-year: Europulp

LOS ANGELES , June 13, 2014 () – European woodpulp port stocks moved down an estimated 35,872 tonnes in May over April, or 3.4%, to 1,012,922 tonnes, according to Europulp data released today. 

Compared to May 2013, the May 2014 stocks increased an estimated 26,895 tonnes, or 2.7%.

The May results mark the second straight month of month-over-month declines. Until March, the stocks had been increasing since the most recent low, in November 2013, of 1,018,849 tonnes.

Inventories have been above 1 million tonnes for 12 months in a row, but they are 284,872 tonnes lower than the recent peak, in August, of 1,227,794 tonnes.

The May figures are less than certain because Europulp has estimated the stocks for the U.K. and Netherlands. It has been estimating the U.K. stocks since November and it also estimated the Netherlands stocks for April. As well, it has made estimates for some of the other countries in recent months. But it has made no adjustments in subsequent reports.

Following are the country-by-country May 2014 figures, in tonnes, including the estimations: (respective May-over-April and year-over-year percentages in parentheses): Netherlands/Belgium — 367,150 (-14.7%; 8.1%); France — 131,135 (11.4%; 48.2%), U.K. — 40,619 (0.2%; -0.8%); Germany — 106,464 (-1.9%; -17.6%); Switzerland — 5,180 (3.2%; -10.8%); Italy — 297,742 (0.7%; -7.4%); Spain — 64,632 (27.3%; 11.6%).

Stats perspective. Inventories were below 1 million tonnes in May 2013 (986,027 tonnes), March 2013 (971,897 tonnes), February 2013 (966,502), and three months in 2012, including November (920,856 tonnes, October (980,455 tonnes), and June (912,478 tonnes). June 2012’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 before declining 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.

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. However, looking at month-over-month changes compared to the previous 15 years, May port stocks, compared to those in April, have risen eight times.

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