Södra in Sweden announces March 1 pulp price increases for Europe, to US$860/tonne for NBSK and US$820/tonne for BHKP

LOS ANGELES , February 26, 2013 () – Södra Cell AB in Sweden today announced that it will increase its March 1 list prices in Europe of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp to US$860/tonne and of bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) to US$820/tonne.

“Seasonal improvement together with maintenance shutdowns will improve the market balance further in spring 2013,” the company said in its announcement.

This is the third known March 1 NBSK price announcement for Europe, following Metsä Fibre Oy, which led on Feb. 22, and Mercer International Inc. The companies did not say the amount of their increase, but NBSK producers’ previously announced list price was $840/tonne, for Jan. 1, which they have been working during January/February to fully implement.

Three major Brazilian bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) producers, Suzano Papel e Celulose SA, Fibria Celulose SA, and Celulose Nipo-Brasileira SA (Cenibra) have announced March 1 $20/tonne increases for Europe, to $820/tonne.

Södra is a major pulp producer, manufacturing bleached softwood and hardwood pulps at five mills (three in Sweden and two in Norway), with a total annual capacity of more than 2 million tonnes/year.

On Feb. 19, Södra announced that it has decided to divest its 400,000 tonnes/year chemical pulp mill in Tofte, Norway, due to “unsatisfactory profitability.” It said it aims to end its involvement in the mill during the second quarter of this year. The mill is said to produce about half NBSK and half BHKP.

Södra announced on Dec. 20 that Mayr Melnhof Karton is to acquire its 105,000 tonnes/year Follafoss, Sweden, chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) mill. It said the parties’ intention was to close the deal during the first quarter of 2013. Sodra had said in August that by Nov. 1, it planned to divest the unprofitable mill, thus exiting the CTMP market. This would leave Södra with two mills in Sweden.

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