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Good news for news. (Paper).

The market for old newspapers (ONP) has been showing modest strength through the end of the year. The improvements come while the newsprint industry continues to grapple with an oversupply of finished product.

In the U.S., Abitibi-Consolidated announced it would be closing its Sheldon, Texas, newsprint mill due to the high cost of operations. Bowater, another large newsprint producer, also continues to remove capacity from the market as it attempts to cut costs and improve its market position.

With the less than upbeat news from the newsprint industry, the improvement in ONP is being attributed more to the lack of available tonnage. The trend by some municipalities to either eliminate or sharply curtail their curbside collection programs as a budgetary move has reduced the amount of ONP available.

The old corrugated container (OCC) grade has continued its slip through the end of the year as mills continue to check with their inventory levels and find that there is plenty of fiber available. At the same time, offshore buyers, who helped propel markets through most of 2002, have scaled back their orders, leading to reduced prices.
U.S. Producer Price Index/Mixed Paper
* Index based on 1982 average prices as 100

Nov. `01 174.7
December 175.1

January `02 174.3
February 175.3
March 175.8
April 227.1
May 262.2
June 499.6
July 658.8
August 607.4
September 565.8
October 551.8
November 506.8

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Note: Table made from bar graph.

(Additional news on paper markets, including breaking news and pricing is available at
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Publication:Recycling Today
Article Type:Illustration
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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