• Pulp showing marginal gains: Momentum continues in China, with both HW and SW ticking up. Södra Cell is increasing its NBSK price in Europe, effective 1 January. This driven by a recovering market and further tightening expected from multiple maintenance stops.
  • Mixed moves for graphic paper: It appear a floor has been reached for UWF (+0.4% w/w). Export markets likely to provide further protection with the likes of APRIL (USD 50/t) and Suzano (15.5% effective Jan.) announcing price increases in their domestic markets.
  • As expected, containerboard sees further gains: Kraftliner and testliner were both up w/w (0.6% and 1.8%, respectively). The kraftliner/testliner spread is now down 10% YTD (now EUR 159/t). OCC continues to rise, up 5% w/w (+79% y/y).
  • DWP prices continue edging up: China imported HW DWP up 1.5% w/w to USD 725/t, up 14% y/y (+13% at spot USD/ZAR). DWP is now being offered at USD 730-740/t (tight supply currently).  
  • VSF prices stable: Medium-grade VSF was stable w/w at CNY 10,400/t. Chinese VSF operating rates dipped from 81% to 80% due to planned maintenance (Jiangsu and Shandong-based VSF plants each shut one line for maintenance). VSF inventory days tick up slightly to 14.5 days (14 last week). VSF profits further in the red (just under CNY -400/t), which is likely to moderate further DWP price increases.

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