Pulp market roundup: February prices expected to be mostly stable to higher in major markets for softwood and flat for hardwood as overall supply and demand fundamentals favor producers

LOS ANGELES , February 9, 2014 () – February prices of bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) and bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) are expected to be mostly flat to a bit higher in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Softwood supply remains snug and in most regions there is not an excess of hardwood pulp, sources have been saying.

As previously reported, several BSKP producers announced higher prices for Europe and China for February, after achieving an announced January price hike in North America. Some of the higher February pricing in China has already gone through.

BHKP buyers in Europe and China pressured for lower prices in January but they didn’t necessarily succeed across the board, although there was some downward movement in China. February prices in Europe and Asia are expected to be flat. In North America, BHKP list prices rose around US$10/tonne in January and spot prices are continuing up in February because of mostly weather-related production and delivery problems.

A market pulp consultant said there isn’t demand growth in Europe, while in North America the growth is due to weather and logistics.

A sales executive for a major South American bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) supplier said the market is in balance. And with no new tonnage having yet reached the market he said, “At the moment I don’t see a reason for prices to go down.” He said customers are very much hoping that volumes set to arrive from Suzano Papel e Cellulose SA’s new mill in Maranhão, Brazil, will push prices down. “But the pure supply and demand figures haven’t changed,” he said. “The Suzano pulp is imaginary.” And buyers appear to be frustrated by the slower-than-expected impact of the new mills, he said.

Capacity updates. The 1.3 million tonnes/year BEKP Montes del Plata pulp mill in Punta Pereira, Uruguay, is “now very close to the startup,” which is targeted for “the first months of 2014,” Stora Enso Oyj CEO Jouko Karvinen said in the company’s Feb. 5 earnings call. He said commissioning is now 97% complete and that the reports imply good quality technology and good construction. “So we expect, I admit quite a bit late, a very good quality and very competitive mill,” said Karvinen. He said it would be late 2014 before the mill is in full swing.

Stora Enso will not be providing “daily or weekly schedules,” but rather “the next news is going to be the day when we start totally,” Karvinen said.

This comment prompted some sources with other South American BEKP producers to question whether there is any real sense of when the startup will occur. One source said if the startup were imminent, Karvinen would have said “this month” and that “the rumbling” is that the startup will be sometime in March. Another said that for Stora Enso not to say anything before it starts up “means they don’t know.” This source is guessing the startup will be in the second quarter. “Frankly, I think nobody knows when,” he said.

The startup of the Montes del Plata project, which is a joint venture with Chile’s Celulosa Arauco y Constitución SA (Arauco), has been delayed several times.

Separately, on Feb. 5 Arauco received approval from environmental authorities for the planned $2.1 billion expansion and modernization project at its mill in Arauco in southern Chile, Reuters reported Feb. 6. It would involve the construction of a 1.56 million tonnes/year BEKP line and the closure of the mill’s existing 280,000 tonnes/year BEKP line, as well as the modernization of the mill’s 506,000 tonnes/year radiata pine pulp line.

On the northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp side, Ilim Group’s new Bratsk line appears not to be on track for a full ramp-up in March, after all. In its fourth-quarter earnings calls on Feb. 4, CEO John Faraci of joint partner International Paper Co. (IP) said the line made 66,000 tonnes in the third quarter, 105,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter, and 36,000 tonnes in January, the latter, he said, being a run rate twice that of the fourth quarter. Given the line’s 720,000 tonnes/year capacity, market pulp industry analyst Brian McClay said the operating rate was 28% in the third quarter, 58% in the fourth quarter, and 60% in January. McClay made the comments in a post on Pulp Info Global (PIG), a Smartphone app planned for launch by the end of February,

Recently the talk was that the Bratsk line would be up fully by March, but late last week an industry consultant said, “It’s not going to be running full in March, no way.” The installation of some equipment aimed at fixing problems that was scheduled for last November had to be put off because of severe weather and is now planned for April, he added.

Dissolving pulp. Chinese authorities apparently have postponed the final ruling on the government’s anti-dumping decision on imports of viscose-quality dissolving pulp (DP) until April, sources are saying. A market pulp consultant said many of his sources are telling him the ruling has been delayed until April 6.

The preliminary anti-dumping decision against certain producers in Canada, the U.S., and Brazil was effective on Nov. 7 and China was supposed to have made a final ruling on Feb. 6.

The preliminary holding led some U.S. producers of DP to produce fluff pulp or southern bleached softwood kraft (SBSK) pulp instead, according to reports.

As industry consultant Brian McClay noted in early January in his Market Pulp Monthly report, the anti-dumping duties initially did lead to modestly higher DP prices in China—he said up $30/tonne—but then increased supply from European producers and from new suppliers in Thailand and Japan drove prices back down roughly $20/tonne. Meanwhile, viscose staple fiber prices in China were at their lowest level since April 2009, essentially limiting prospects for China DP prices to move much higher anytime soon, McClay said.

North America moves. Sources are reporting higher hardwood pulp spot prices and limited supply in North America.

Pulp buyers caught by the weather-related transport problems have had to pay spot prices in the mid-$800s/tonne to $900/tonne or so for NBSK and into the $700s/tonne for North American-produced hardwood pulp, at least for small blocks, sources said.

Not all spot buyers are paying such big jumps in price, but overall the prices have been showing gains rather than standing still.

A sales executive for an NBSK producer said he expects the NBSK price to increase in March. As for the January list price of $1,010/tonne, up $20/tonne, “there was not even a discussion on it,” he said.

For the week ending Feb. 1, FOEX Indexes Ltd. said the NBSK price in North America rose $4.17/tonne, to $1,005.88/tonne.

“North American pulp markets “have stayed firm, especially in softwood but also in hardwood,” FOEX wrote in its Feb. 4 commentary, adding that list prices “keep showing a larger-than-normal gap to other pulp purchasing regions.”

FOEX said that while weather-related rail and truck transportation problems certainly played a role during the winter storms in January, other technical disruptions in production and firmness of the softwood markets elsewhere in the world have helped keep the market tight.

A U.S. pulp buyer said that with the weather-related problems, “hardwood got very tight” a few weeks ago and prices shot up.

Another pulp buyer said his February net price of northern bleached hardwood kraft (NBHK) pulp, based on a one-month lag, rose $5/tonne in one case and $10/tonne in another, to a range of about $620-$640/tonne. He said his January net prices of NBSK increased $15/tonne and that his current deinked pulp price difference is zero to $15/tonne up, depending on the supplier.

Sources said the January gross price of BHKP was $870/tonne, generally up $10/tonne, as announced by several major North American BHKP producers. Also some BEKP producers targeted and received the $870/tonne price, up $10/tonne.

There has been a Feb. 1 announcement by a North American NBHK producer, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac), for an $880/tonne aspen-grade price in February, which was also the price announced for January by Verso Paper Co. for its maple-grade NBHK and by Suzano for BEKP. Other North American producers are not known to have announced for February.

“I don’t see why it won’t be $880 by the end of the month, said a sales executive for a Brazilian BEKP producer, citing the Suzano announcement. “There is definitely spot in the $700s—people who were needing hardwood and could not get supply would’ve paid in the $700s. It’s reasonable that it could go up.”

He doesn’t expect tonnage from new BEKP capacity to reach North America until March and he noted the Montes del Plata startup delays. “I don’t see any real effect on the market until the third quarter,” he said, adding that he doesn’t see weakness in demand for pulp and that tissue machines are using as much or more pulp than had been forecast.

A market pulp consultant observed that since pulp production is continuing in North America but “stuck in the hinterland,” it will arrive at paper mills at the same time. He said he has heard of some lost hardwood pulp production for weather and other reasons but that he isn’t hearing it for softwood pulp.

Weather misery. The weather is “the Number One issue,” with the back-to-back weather events having a dramatic impact, said a sales executive for an NBSK producer in British Columbia. He said the big question for Canadian pulp producers is how to manage their supply situations, which he said first affected their home markets, and then global markets.

Rail cars “are still stuck and stranded” in North America and if cars are moved out of British Columbia, the rail system can’t move them back, he said. Some pulp mills in Alberta and British Columbia are getting only 40%-60% of the rail cars they normally receive and it could be “four-five-six-seven weeks before we see them again because they get stranded,” he said. Mills “can only run on 50% of their cars for so long,” he said. “It’s not a good situation.”

He said pulp producers are being advised to move as much product to the ports as possible because of the difficulty of getting them back from the Midwest. So producers turn to trucks, “then everyone moves to the same truck carriers,” he said.

(A source with an Eastern Canadian pulp producer said he is seeing congestion in both the Vancouver and New York ports, including long lines to deliver containers. “It feeds on itself,” he said.)

The first source said no pulp mill in British Columbia or Alberta has shut down, but he said in some cases freshly made pulp is being set next to the machine or, after it has cooled, taken outside and put under a tarp. If it can’t be transported, the pulp gets taken to a warehouse, he said, commenting that this additional handling means the pulp “doesn’t look good so there’s more off-grade.” With all of these difficulties, some pulp producers are planning to move their spring maintenance shuts forward, he said, adding, “It’s getting close for some people.”

Also describing weather-related rail problems, a North American sales agent said, “Domestic people are just scrambling for pulp and some buyers are “very nervous,” trying to scrape by.

He said his company hasn’t transacted any NBSK domestically “because we can’t get any.” On the hardwood side, he said spot prices have gone from $600-$640/tonne a few weeks ago to $640-$670/tonne now, and approaching net prices off of contracts. He said the supply of North American bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP) is very tight, with producers telling him they have none to spare this quarter.

“Every day seems to be a new drama,” he said.

The rail industry has changed in the past 20 years, from the days when general-purpose boxcars were available on a day’s notice to the current seven to 10 days even under normal conditions, he commented.

Separately, sources said a Canadian NBSK mill that had been running poorly in December and January, losing thousands of tonnes of production, is now back to running full. And just about the time production became normal, there were “no railcars,” leaving the mill, which can ship 16 cars per day, more than 60 cars behind, said a source familiar with the situation. But the railroad was promising the arrival of 17 cars over the weekend and more beyond that, he said. He named another producer in his region that he said “has no cars” either. The alternative is trucking, which is expensive, he said.

He said that because of another producer’s problems, people are asking if they can take pulp from his warehouse, which is “all well and good, but there are not rail cars for replacement. I’ve turned down thousands of tonnes, 5,000 at least I had to turn down.”

Not only does he have no excess pulp to sell, but also he needs to build up inventory for a spring maintenance shut, he said.

Contrary to pulp sources handling pulp in the northern part of North America, a sales executive for a South American BEKP producer said his company hasn’t had problems delivering product out of the southern U.S. from its arrival at port. He said the bulk of his tonnage is delivered on rail and it is “always” a challenge getting rail cars.” But he said the situation does worsen when the weather is bad and cars “are bottled up in Saskatchewan.”

He said his company’s bigger challenge is meeting increased demand because it takes time to fill the pipeline and he had also experienced a vessel delay. “We don’t have any pulp to speak of,” he said, adding that he had to turn down inquiries in the previous week “for substantial volume.”

At least two southern bleached hardwood kraft (SBHK) pulp users in Mexico won’t be getting any more of that grade after the end of January and are seeking BEKP instead, he said, adding that as SBHK gradually disappears as a market pulp, such buyers will turn more to BEKP rather than NBHK, the latter of which he said involves unattractive shipping costs.

He said he hasn’t heard of paper mill curtailments because of the weather logistics, but he noted that some that are down because of the cost and availability of natural gas.

Buyer angle. A U.S. buyer for a papermaker named a Western Canadian supplier that he said was unable to deliver pulp to him because it “ran out of railcars,” but he said he was able to get tonnage from another producer of the same grade, adding that his company has a target for local days of supply and that it had run out of the first company’s pulp. “We try not to sole-source on anything because if anything happens at a manufacturing plant, what do you do?” he said, noting that there can be production and deliveries snags alike.

He said he has encountered many transportation issues lately, not just for pulp but for anything his company gets from a distance. Early last week “it was all about chemicals, not pulp,” caused by railcar congestion, and his company had to figure out how to get chemical shipments in time to avoid shutting down the mill. In one case this involved reloading an LTL (less-than-load) order and shipping it directly and in another case taking his order off a railcar and putting it on a truck.

Another pulp buyer, in New England, said this has been a traditional winter in his part of the world, so he has been relatively unaffected by the weather situation. “It’s business as usual,” he said, noting that he has good suppliers, that his supplies arrive by truck, and that he keeps extra in inventory and at a nearby location.

Another U.S. buyer late last week named three pulp suppliers who told him a large number of railcars were backed up in various locations but that the worst was over and they had been able to serve all of their customers’ needs in January, including with trucks.

He said there seems to be available pulp, given the paper mills in the Northeast taking downtime because of natural gas and weather issues. While there were “serious backups because of the weather, many sellers “exaggerate the conditions to create artificial shortages,” he said.

“[N]o one had any problems getting pulp in to run mills” and the railcar backlog situation has improved, so “most buyers will be able to build inventory as well as suppliers, who will see fewer tonnes on their order books,” he said, adding that savvy buyers didn’t pay any higher spot prices, in contrast to those who didn’t plan well and had to pay premiums.

One of the pulp sellers said that 10 to 15 years ago, “every buyer in the North added to pulp inventory starting in November,” to provide a buffer in the event of weather-related disruptions. But some buyers got out of the habit because the winters became milder, he said.

Paper side. Some U.S. buyers said their pulp needs were reduced a bit in recent times because their paper mills took two weeks of downtime during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

One said that for his company it was market-related because January isn’t a high-demand month.

Another, for a specialty papermaker, noted that his company is required to give employees two days off each for Christmas and for New Year, and since they fell in the middle of the week it didn’t make sense to start and restart the mill. But he said business picked up quickly in the New Year and that his order books are full until early March, including some large orders that have come in.

Sources are keeping a close eye on the proposed Verso merger with NewPage Corp., wondering if the deal will go through in light of Verso’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission saying that its debt exchange offer did not go as planned because an insufficient number of Verso debt holders participated to meet the minimum threshold under the merger agreement.

Whatever the eventual outcome, a source with a coated papermaker said capacity in that sector needs to be shut now or else everyone will fall together.

Strike averted. Pulp sellers were also worried early last week about the possibility of a Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) strike that could have occurred as early as Feb. 8. But on Feb. 6, CN announced the strike had been averted with a new three-year tentative collective agreement with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons.

CN, along with its operating railway subsidiaries, serves the cities and ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia; Montreal; Halifax, Nova Scotia; New Orleans; and Mobile, Alabama, and the metropolitan areas of Toronto; Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Chicago; Memphis, Tennessee; Detroit; Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin; and Jackson, Mississippi.

Separately regarding ports, on Feb. 8 The Associated Press reported that a giant blaze fuelled by 5,600 tons of solid raw rubber blocks inside a warehouse at the Port of Savannah, in Georgia, had been contained but that it could take a while for the flames to burn out. The AP said the Port of Savannah is the fourth-busiest seaport for containerized cargo in the U.S.

Europe settles. Softwood pulp prices moved up a bit in January in Europe. NBSK producers had last announced a hike for Nov. 1, to $920/tonne, up $20/tonne, and at the end of December the price was in the $905-$910/tonne range.

A sales executive for an NBSK producer said the January price in Europe settled in the $910-$920/tonne range and that there are comments about “different numbers between that.”

A market pulp consultant said he is hearing a January price of “no more than $915,” up $5-$10/tonne. He said there is room for the price to edge higher in February, but he doesn’t see it going to the announced $930/tonne, and he noted that the euro has strengthened.

As previously reported, Mercer International Inc., West Fraser Timber Co., and Metsä Fibre Oy, announced a Feb. 1 price of $930/tonne for Europe. They did not state their previous prices. Another major European producer is said to have announced to $930/tonne, as well. Also Canfor Pulp LP, which announced a $940/tonne price for Dec. 1 that did not succeed at the time is saying that $940/tonne is its price for February, especially given the currency situation. A sales executive for one of the companies said demand in Europe “is still very good.”

On the hardwood pulp side, sources have generally said that the January price of BEKP remained in the $760-$770/tonne range, with some as high as $780/tonne, and sales executives for some BEKP producers said they managed to get $5-$10/tonne higher on some sales. One such source, for a major South American supplier, said that despite buyer pressure, his January prices in Europe were unchanged to up a few dollars.

He and others have been saying that Italian buyers tried to get their price down to $750/tonne, but that they didn’t succeed. In some cases in Italy in which prices were particularly low, he said his company managed to get $5/tonne increases. He said Italian buyers have been pressuring for separate pricing from the rest of Europe, which he said he opposes. “It’s not based on the fundamentals,” he said.

For the week ending Feb. 1, FOEX said the NBSK price in Europe fell 32 cents/tonne, to $912.55/tonne, while in euros it jumped €8.20/tonne, to €675.16/tonne, reflecting the weakening of the euro against the U.S. dollar by as much as 1.2% from the prior week.

FOEX said the BHKP price declined $2.42/tonne, to $768.84/tonne, but rose in euros €5.34/tonne, to €568.84/tonne.

The euro is currently at US$1.36228.

On the BHKP side, the market “is probably a bit firmer than what most observers expected,” FOEX wrote in its Feb. 4 commentary. “This shows in the quasi-absence of spot volumes, from the 2-day fall of the BHKP producer stocks in December and, in spite of the strong pressure from the buyers, a rather steady level in hardwood pulp prices.”

FOEX said the demand growth for market BSKP was tapering off toward the end of the year as the price gap to hardwood pulps widened and some substitution toward BHKP was obvious. It said some supply was added by either fluff pulp mills producing paper pulp or through conversions from integrated to market pulp. As well, production was lost at some mills, due to technical problems, such as at Stora Enso’s Skoghall mill in Sweden, where there as a recovery boiler explosion on Jan. 21, or wood supply issues, such as Fibre Excellence BV’s Tarascon mill in France, or through harsh weather conditions.

On Jan. 30 Euwid reported that Stora Enso planned to return its 350,000 tonnes/year NBSK mill to full production early this month, with the recovery boiler starting up Feb. 8 and PMs Nos. 7 and 8 ramping up to full output Feb. 9-11.

The loss of the NBSK production—most is used internally but some is sold on the market—meant Stora Enso “almost immediately” was on the market seeking replacement tonnage, said a sales executive for another NBSK producer.

Mediterranean region. A pulp sales agent in the Mediterranean region said late last week that some eucalyptus producers were trying to hold on to spot $610-$615/tonne CIF levels but he named a couple of others that had dropped to $600/tonne in the previous week.

A major BEKP supplier said he agreed with that assessment and that his company had refused to sell at the lower level.

The agent said he is concerned because the lower prices are occurring even before tonnage from Suzano’s new line has reached the market, or before the startup of Montes del Plata, and that high-cost producers in North America and Scandinavia are especially vulnerable.

In contrast, the agent said the BSKP market was very strong in January, with a lack of supply bringing spot NBSK prices up to at least $750-$755/tonne early in January. This was followed by a slight decrease, mostly because of the pressure from SBSK availability in response to the dissolving pulp anti-dumping issues in China, he said. But when the anti-dumping decision was postponed to April and there were new price announcements for February deliveries, up $10-$15/tonne, “again we started to see a strong softwood market, “he said.

He added that the fluff pulp price hike announcements are also affecting the new SBSK price levels. (Among fluff pulp producers, IP and Domtar Corp. are known to have announced $40/tonne global price hikes for Feb. 1.)

As well, the shut at the Skoghall NBSK mill is adding to the lack of softwood pulp availability, he said. (Sources have said that some of that mill’s tonnage is regularly sold into the Mediterranean area.)

China returns. Some sources noted that China pulp players are expected to be back in their offices this week, with some having returned on Feb. 7 to work through the weekend to catch up.

BSKP prices in China held in January, as producers did not try to raise prices and the market was stable. In early January, Chinese buyers tried to push down BHKP prices $5-10/tonne or so, but in some cases, at least, prices held fairly steady, sources said.

Sources said the weather-related logistics problems in North America and the labor problems in Chilean ports in January are causing delays in shipments to China, but the amount of tonnage involved hasn’t been pinned down.

“When customers come back from the Lunar New Year, they will find out B.C. is having problems with offshore shipments,” said a sales executive for an NBSK producer in British Columbia. He said he is confident that his company has sold 100% of its contractual tonnage for February at the higher price, and that while it usually has some open tonnes to sell, this is not currently the case. He said he expects the China price to increase in March.

He said there was more activity than normal during the Lunar New Year holiday, given that paper machines continued to run and that his company was telling Chinese customers to be sure to get their orders in “because we are backlogged.” Like others, he said he didn’t know how much Chinese paper production was taken out during the holiday. Demand from specialty and tissue customers “was pretty good” and that even though some big tissue customers were taking downtime, their order pattern didn’t change, he said.

Adding to this tone, a North American pulp sales agent said non-China customers in the Far East are asking for their shipments to arrive earlier than usual.

A sales executive for a major South American BEKP supplier said he was surprised that RISI Inc. had dropped the January gross price in China by $10/tonne (to $645/tonne). He said his buyers had ended up paying unchanged prices. “We didn’t ever really see much pressure,” he said. As for talk that the net price dropped $10-$20/tonne to around $600/tonne net, he said, “There are all kinds of prices and all kinds of stories going around. I don’t know how much volume is around in China and in general.”

He said February discussions would begin this week as buyers return from their holiday and that he expects prices will stay the same as in January.

As previously reported, the Feb. 1 Chilean and Russian $10/tonne BSKP increases were said to have been implemented before the onset of the Lunar New Year, with NBSK producers planning to get down to business after the holidays.

Arauco’s February price is $740/tonne (net) for bleached radiata kraft pulp (BRKP) and Ilim’s NBSK price $730/tonne CFR (list). Arauco kept its unbleached kraft pulp (UKP) price in China flat in February at $720/tonne (net) after raising it $10/tonne in January.

Several Canadian NBSK producers, West Fraser, Canfor Pulp, Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. (DMI) and Catalyst Paper Corp. announced $10/tonne price hikes or informed customers of same. West Fraser did not specify its new pricing. Canfor Pulp said its $10/tonne increase for the Asia Pacific would bring its price in China to $770/tonne for its reinforcement grade. DMI’s Feb. 1 price in China is $750/tonne (net) and Catalyst’s is $760/tonne (list) for commodity grade and $770/tonne (list) for reinforcement grade.

For the week ending Feb. 1, FOEX said the NBSK index in China rose $2.04/tonne, to $746.92/tonne. The BHKP index gained back $4.98/tonne, closing at $658.17/tonne.

In its Feb. 4 commentary, FOEX noted that in BSKP, the 2013 delivery volumes to China fell slightly from 2012, according to the customs statistics “but the market remains pretty firm, all the same,” and that delivery problems from the strike-impacted Chile and the frost-bitten North America and Siberia are keeping a lid on the deliveries in the first quarter.
“One interesting question to be resolved within a couple of months’ time is the anti-dumping duty issue. At present the very weak prices for dissolving pulp and the over-capacity situation in fluff pulp are pushing producers to produce more softwood paper pulp,” FOEX wrote.

On the BHKP side, FOEX noted that Indonesian shipments of BHKP to China increased by more than 400,000 tonnes in 2013 over 2012. However, it said that in early 2014, some tapering off of this growth is expected. “The rainy season has reduced the wood supply to the mills. APRIL is taking downtime at their mills for technical and market reasons, FOEX wrote. “Several producers have announced a price increase in BEKP and, at least judged by this week’s numbers, with some success, at least for now, after the hardwood prices losing a bit of ground around the year-turn.”

BCTMP prices. Sales executives for BCTMP producers have been saying supply is snug and some think they might be able to raise China prices in February.

Once such source said in recent days that his aspen-grade BCTMP price rose a bit in January--he said the gross price was $595-$600/tonne, and that the net price was around $580/tonne--and that a $10/tonne February increase might be possible, but would take some pushing. (He attributed the lack of formal announcements from most BCTMP producers to the different grades and to market fragmentation.)

He said there has been “a slight increase” in demand from Chinese paperboard producers, particularly for maple grades. Chinese board producers have been stepping up their exports and therefore need a BCTMP quality that they can’t necessarily get from their domestic producers, he said.

He expects the market to be more challenging after a couple of months from now, when the additional BHKP capacity arrives in markets.

Korea evaluating. On Feb. 6 a pulp sales agent in South Korea said not all January prices had been settled.

BSKP prices did settle unchanged. The list prices were $845/tonne for NBSK, $815/tonne for BRKP, and $805/tonne for SBSK.

BHKP prices fell $10/tonne, to list prices of $660/tonne for NBHK, SBHK, BEKP, and Indonesian mixed hardwood pulp. The price of Indonesian acacia pulp was $650/tonne. A Canadian NBHK supplier was planning to settle on Feb. 7, when Chinese customers were back in their offices, the agent said.

On the BCTMP side, two Canadian suppliers announced unchanged January prices, drawing customer complaints, the agent said. Other BCTMP suppliers were still considering their plans, with some saying they would maintain their list price but adjust their net price, he said, adding that the situation would soon be clearer.

The December prices were $660/tonne for 85-bright aspen BCTMP and $650/tonne for softwood BCTMP.

The agent said all UKP prices increased $10/tonne in January--this would put the new price at $710/tonne--and that only one roll pulp supplier maintained its price. 

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.