Domtar, IP, Resolute make May 1 global fluff pulp price hike announcements this week, following Weyerhaeuser's announcement last week; increases are on heels of companies' other fluff pulp price gains in recent months

LOS ANGELES , May 1, 2014 () – International Paper Co. (IP) today advised customers of a May 1 global US$30/tonne fluff pulp price increase, according to a knowledgeable source. IP did not state its new prices. 

Other key North American fluff pulp producers this week have also announced May global price increases. Domtar Corp. on April 29 set a $20/tonne hike and Resolute Forest Products Inc. today said it is going up $30/tonne, according to another industry source.

As previously reported, last week Weyerhaeuser Co. informed customers that it was raising its May 1 fluff pulp prices $30/tonne in major markets and $20/tonne in most other markets. The industry source said this would bring Weyerhaeuser’s list price in North America and Europe to $1,050/tonne.

Fluff pulp prices have been rising rapidly in recent months. For April, IP announced a $30/tonne increase, effective worldwide except for in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, where its announced hike was $55/tonne.

Weyerhaeuser, Domtar, and Resolute raised their prices in April, too.

For Feb. 1, IP announced a $40/tonne global fluff pulp increase.

Company capacities. IP sells more than 1 million tonnes/year of pulp, according to the company website. This includes fluff pulp, northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK), southern bleached softwood kraft (SBSK), northern bleached hardwood kraft (NBHK), southern bleached hardwood kraft (SBHK), bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP), and bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP).

IP’s SBSK and SBHK are produced in Riegelwood, North Carolina, and in Eastover, South Carolina, and in Saillat, France. Its other pulps are produced in mills located overseas: BEKP at mills in Mogi Guacu, Brazil, and Luiz Antionio, Brazil; NBSK and NBHK in Kwidzyn, Poland, and BCTMP in Svetogorsk, Russia.

Weyerhaeuser, based in Federal Way, Washington, produces about 1.9 million tonnes/year of pulp for the market, including fluff pulp (more than 1 million tonnes/year), northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK), and southern bleached softwood kraft (SBSK), according to industry sources.

Domtar manufactures market pulp at mills in Canada and the U.S., including NBSK, SBSK, SBHK, fluff pulp, and specialty pulp. It said on its website that in 2013, it sold approximately 1.5 million tonnes to customers in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Montréal-based Resolute produces approximately 1.7 million tonnes/year of market pulp at its eight facilities in North America. Resolute is one of only a few North American producers of all four major paper-grade pulps: NBSK, SBSK, NBHK, and SBHK. Also it produces recycled kraft pulp (RKP). It produces fluff pulp in Coosa Pines, Alabama. 

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