Coated Freesheet

FutureMark Announces Closure if Buyer Not Found

  |   Coated Freesheet, Coated Groundwood

FutureMark has announced the closure of it’s 168,000 ton/yr Coated Recycled Paper plant in Alsip, IL if a buyer is not found.  The mill intends to make orders for 2 weeks before idling equipment.  FutureMark cited market conditions and energy costs as the reason.  We have seen a steep decrease in Coated Groundwood prices since last winter – as well as a steep drop in Demand.  Additionally, FutureMark wrestled with extremely high Natural Gas prices last winter.

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Coated Freesheet Increase Implemented

  |   Coated Freesheet

Although Demand is viewed as somewhat soft, $1 to $2 of the proposed $2 June increase is currently be implemented for Coated Freesheet. A weak Catalog season could create pressure to reverse the increase, but progress this Fall towards a NewPage-Verso merger could bolster pricing in this segment. As noted previously, confidence is waning that Verso will avoid bankruptcy before a merger takes place.

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Coated Freesheet Price Increases

  |   Coated Freesheet

Even though Demand had weakened as with Coated Groundwood (due to reduced advertising as well as shrinking magazine and catalog circulation), a $2 price increase announcement has been made for Coated Freesheet. The drop-off has not been as steep when compared to Coated Groundwood, and the ability for Coated producers to lift their Coaters and make Uncoated Freesheet keeps the Capacity fluid and Operating Rates for Coated Freesheet publicized as in the 90’s percentile. A potential shutdown of equipment after a NewPage-Verso merger could bolster pricing in this segment as well.

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Coated Freesheet Soft

  |   Coated Freesheet

As with Coated Groundwood, Demand has weakened due to reduced advertising as well as shrinking magazine and catalog circulation. The drop-off has not been as steep when compared to Coated Groundwood and, thus, the price erosion has not been as bad. A potential shutdown of equipment after a NewPage-Verso merger could bolster pricing in this segment as well. Appleton Coated announced it is for sale and interest seems to lie strictly with Private Equity firms.

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