Since the end of the summer break in September 2011, there has been a marked downward trend in sawmill waste product prices in France. At the end of April 2012, Raymond Bertin, one of the 24 sawmiller-shareholders of Connexes de Franche-Comté confirmed that the decline of this market was still ongoing. "In one year the price of dry wood chips for thermomechanical pulping has fallen from EUR 90 to EUR 82 per tonne, which is the current price, and paper manufacturers have announced new price cuts".
Scaling back of activities and plant closures in the pulp and paper industry are underway in Western Europe. Northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp prices have fallen 16% since June 2011, reaching USD 841 per tonne in March 2012. Yet sawmillers still like to believe that sales at a discount will come to an end. They wish to remind their papermaker clients that, in the words of Jean-Claude Sève, vicepresident of the French woodworking federation (the FNB), "competition from the sector of wood for energy generation guarantees to sawmillers a certain degree of confidence that mill waste prices cannot keep on dropping indefinitely"