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U.S. UFS Soft, Under Pressure

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U.S. uncoated free sheet (UFS) demand is a bit soft and prices remain under pressure, Wilde says. According to PPPC, he reports, preliminary December shipments were -4.7% y/y (2011 -3.2% y/y). The December operating rate was 83% (2011 = 88%). December 20-lb repro bond estimated prices fell $10/ton m/m to $1,055 - $1,105/ton, -1.4% y/y. Current prices are ˜$30/ton below August levels.

"While 50-lb estimated offset prices were flat at $920 - $940/ton in December, reports suggest that transaction prices are still under pressure. Producers continue to reduce capacity. Wausau recently announced the permanent closure of its 173,000 tpy non-integrated UFS mill in Brokaw, Wis.," Wilde says.


Xerium Technologies, Inc.