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Buyers demand cuts to NBSK and BEK pulp prices

EUWID Price Watch Pulp: price developent for southern short-fibre pulp in $/t.
Source: EUWID
21 Aug 2012 − 

NBSK and BEK pulp prices remain under downward pressure on the European market. Additional price cuts can not be ruled out in August.

Prices for northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp had been reduced in July and additional price cuts are not ruled out for August as many European paper manufacturers are calling for additional discounts for NBSK.

The summer lull in the paper industry, especially among printing and writing paper producers, would likely last the entire month of August, insiders said by way of explanation. The NBSK market was experiencing surplus supply as many paper machines in Europe stood idle and business with China was disappointing.

NBSK manufacturers are reportedly approaching their pain threshold at current prices. The time when mills would have to close for market reasons was drawing nearer, EUWID learned. Expensive and inefficient mills could not keep up much longer in the present market climate, industry insiders explained.

A few pulp suppliers are standing firm and attempting to defend July's prices so that they might be in a position to bring about a turnaround in September. Other market players doubted that a recovery would come before November.

While prices for NBSK pulp are expected to recover in the fourth quarter at the latest, forecasts for hardwood pulp prices are mixed. Hardwood pulp market turned out to be more stable so far and suppliers had to cut their prices by only half as much as NBSK pulp producers, EUWID respondents said. However, pressure on eucalyptus pulp prices might increase in the coming months as variety of paper mills is using more and more softwood pulp, they believe.

Hardwood pulp buyers reported they were pushing for a price reduction in August as they were clear signs that inventories at European ports were bursting at the seams in July.


⇒ Find this article in its entirety and any associated background information in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 34.

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