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North American NBSK Pulp Prices Push Upward

June 16, 2009 - Months of production downtime, coupled with mill closures, has finally started to make a mark on prices for North American NBSK.

NBSK prices this week spiked up about $25 to $660 per metric ton.

Deutsche Bank (DB) analysts estimate that in the second quarter of 2009, some 1.158 million metric tons of production was removed. Also fueling the price hike is continued strong demand from China and a weaker US dollar.

DB also says there is growing evidence that most of the major producers are planning to increase prices by $30-40/mton for July shipments, and that Canfor, Domtar, and Northern Pulp have slated North American NBSK price at $700/mton for July shipments.

EUROPE

The upward price trend is also being seen outside North America, where producers have raised prices as their local currencies have strengthened considerably against the USD.

According to Finland's FOEX, NBSK prices in Europe have climbed by $25-35/mton since early April to approx. $610/mton, and some hardwood pulp producers announced a $30/mton price hike, effective immediately.

CHINA

In China the market remains strong with producers gearing up for a fourth price increase in as many months. FOEX says both hardwood and softwood pulp producers are out with price hikes of US$20 - 30/mton for July shipments or effective immediately. FOEX quoted the current price of BHK (bleached hardwood kraft) in China at US$461/mton, up from an early April price of US$400/mton.

SOURCE: Deutsche Bank and FOEX




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