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Coated Groundwood Markets Improving

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In the U.S. coated groundwood papers arena, market dynamics have been improving and prices are rising, according to Wilde. Last week NewPage announced plans to close a 250,000 tpy LWC mill in Whiting, Wis., by late February. In November, list prices were flat with October levels.

There are reports that some customers are paying $60/ton higher (announced = $60 - $75/ton for mid-September/early-October). However, customers with fixed price contracts through year-end will see prices increases only beginning in January. NewPage has also announced a $20 - $50/ton price increase on coated grades for early-January. October shipments were -6.6% y/y, according to Wilde. "The figures are somewhat disappointing considering strong backlogs reported by mills. Last October, LWC was down 2.7% y/y, suggesting that volumess remain well below 2008 levels," he adds.


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