Pulp producers want to hike Q1 prices despite reported availability of all pulp grades in Europe, citing possible Chinese demand, stronger US dollar; high supply attributed to record production numbers, shutdown of integrated manufacturers' paper machines

LOS ANGELES , February 20, 2013 () – Despite the reported availability of all pulp grades in Europe, producers haven’t excluded hiking pulp prices in the first quarter, citing a possible resurgence in Chinese demand following the Lunar New Year holiday and a stronger U.S. dollar against the euro, Euwid reported Feb. 20.

Pulp production did not see added capacity in 2012, but the high supply could be attributed to several producers’ record-high production figures. Meanwhile, integrated manufacturers’ temporary and permanent paper machine closures have led to increased market pulp availability, notably in northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp, Euwid reported.

Softwood and hardwood manufacturers considered their order levels normal to good and aimed to increase prices as soon as possible, despite paper makers’ warnings in February to not make such a move.
 
Several market players doubted whether the NBSK price increase could be implemented amid the plentiful supply of bleached softwood pulp that might have increased in January.

Reports found a plentiful supply of softwood pulp while NBSK spot prices had yet to threaten market stability. One converter reported that spot prices weren’t worth considering given the high rebates offered to suppliers on contract prices, Euwid reported.
 
The primary source of this article is Euwid, Gernsbach, Germany, on Feb. 20, 2013.

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