Newsprint Price Recovery Forecast

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(AP) The CEO of Abitibi-Consolitdated, the world’s largest newsprint maker, predicted that newsprint prices should start to pick up in the second half of the year.

John Weaver said Wednesday he believes prices have hit rock bottom and will start to recover “sometime in the second half.”

Prices, already at a low level in the previous quarter, dropped by another $45 per ton to an average transaction price of about $450 a ton. This compares with $650 last June.

“Newsprint prices will remain under pressure in the second quarter but we appear to be more or less at the bottom,” Weaver said. He said there are signs from Abitibi’s customers that advertising is slowly recovering.

Montreal-based Abitibi announced a higher-than-forecast first-quarter loss of $32 million.

The company of 17,000 employees owns all or partly 27 paper mills in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia, along with 22 sawmills, three lumber remanufacturing plants, 10 paper recycling centers, and a market pulp mill.

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