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N.A. Coated Free Sheet Improving

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The tenor of the CFS market in North America has been improving, reports Mark Wilde of Deutsche Bank. List prices for most grades rose $10 - $25/ton in September. No. 3, 60-lb rolls rose $25/ton to $930 - $1,000/ton. Verso, NewPage, Sappi NA, and Appleton have all announced $40 - $60/ton price increases, effective mid-September/early-October. NewPage last week also announced a $40/ton price increase effective November 1 on some of its coated paper grades. Preliminary September shipments were +9.0% year-over-year and +1.3% month-over-month, Wilde notes, adding that year-to-date shipments are up 21.5% year-over-year. Thermal POS coated paper prices rose for the third straight month in September, +2.5% month-over-month.

Things aren't so rosy elsewhere, Wilde points out. "A trip to China last week brought us face-to-face with evidence of continuing oversupply in the Chinese market. Companies discussed the issue and we saw visual evidence of the inventory overhang," he says.