September produced easily the largest monthly dip in UK recovered paper consumption in the year to date. The total volume consumed by the mills slid from a shade over 390,000 tonnes in September 2004 to 366,077 tonnes in the same month of 2005 — equivalent to a drop of 6.2%. Intake at the mills suffered an even more substantial decline while UK paper and board production fell by 5.4%.
The month also witnessed some major UK mill stock movements, according to latest statistics from the Confederation of Paper Industries.
Over recent months, the general trend has favoured consumption increases among all classes of recovered paper with the exception of corrugated and kraft. However, in September this year, consumption of
Class III newspapers and magazines was 7.3% lower than in the corresponding month of 2004 at 114,904 tonnes. The monthly consumption total for Class II corrugated and kraft fell by 10% from 177,498 tonnes to 159,830 tonnes.
From the cumulative perspective, total UK mill consumption was 0.7% lower in the first nine months of 2005, having dropped from 3.447 million tonnes in January-September 2004 to 3.424 million. Among the individual classes of recovered paper, consumption of corrugated and kraft dipped by 6.9% in the first three quarters of this year to 1.464 million tonnes. Over the same comparative periods, consumption of the high grades advanced 7.9% to 579,963 tonnes, while the rolling totals for mixed and newspapers/magazines showed gains of, respectively, 4.5% and 3% to 237,197 tonnes and 1.142 million tonnes.
This year’s January-September period produced a UK mill intake total of 3.395 million tonnes — some 2.2% down on the 3.473million registered in the first three quarters of 2004. Intake of corrugated and kraft was 10% lower at 1.421 million tonnes while all of the other classes of recovered paper posted increases: mixed grades +7.4% to 243,411 tonnes; high grades +4.7% to 583,746 tonnes; and newspapers and magazines +3.3% to 1.147 million tonnes.
In September itself, intake across all four classes of recovered paper totalled 370,865 tonnes — a sizeable 9.2% below the 408,288 tonnes recorded in the same month last year. The major cause was a 17.7% decline in the intake of corrugated and kraft to 151,378 tonnes, although the monthly intake total for newspapers
and magazines also slipped 6.5% to 123,720 tonnes. These declines easily offset gains elsewhere: intake of mixed grades increased 10.7% in September this
year to 28,731 tonnes while the improvement
registered by the high grades was a more modest 1.7% to 67,036 tonnes.
Recovered paper classes II and III also hogged the stock movement headlines in September. The corrugated and kraft inventory followed up a 20%-plus decline in August with a drop of 22.2% in September to 24,809 tonnes, thereby pushing down supply at the prevailing rate of usage from 0.9 weeks to 0.7 weeks. Back at the end of July, supply had stood at 1.1 weeks. As a perfect counter-balance, stocks of newspapers and magazines increased by 22.2% during September to give an end-of-month inventory total of 45,691 tonnes, which was equivalent to 1.7 weeks’ supply. St