Chile's Arauco announces April 1 radiata pine pulp price increases for China of US$20/tonne for bleached softwood, US$10/tonne for unbleached softwood

LOS ANGELES , March 19, 2012 () – Chile’s Celulosa Arauco y Constitución SA (Arauco) has announced April 1 price increases for China for bleached radiata kraft pulp (BRKP) and unbleached kraft pulp (UKP).

The announcement was made during the weekend, a company official said.

Arauco’s BRKP price will be US$700 per tonne (net), up $20/tonne, and its UKP price will be $630/tonne (net), up $10/tonne.

An announcement for Arauco’s April price of BEKP is pending. Its March price is $640/tonne (list).

Arauco’s announcement for China comes a few days after that of Canadian producer Canfor Pulp LP, which said on March 15 that it is raising its April 1 prices by $30/tonne, putting its prices at $740/tonne for reinforcing-grade northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp and $730/tonne for unbleached kraft pulp.

So for April, there is a $10/tonne difference between the price increases the two companies are announcing for their bleached softwood pulp grades and there are also differences for their unbleached increases.

In contrast, for March 1, both Arauco and Canadian producers raised their bleached softwood pulp prices by $20/tonne.

Arauco is a major supplier to China, with a total market pulp capacity of 3.235 million tonnes/year.

Its capacity in Chile is 2.885 million tonnes/year.

The company’s Alto Paraná mill in Argentina has a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year. Arauco recently completed a conversion on the mill’s Line 1, enabling it to swing to either fluff pulp or BRKP. This conversion added up to 200,000 tonnes/year of fluff pulp capacity at the mill, which already had a 100,000 tonnes/year fluff pulp line.

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