• Pulp ticks up further and more price increases announced: Eldorado and Klabin have confirmed an 8-10% (USD 60-100/t) price increase for BEK to Asia, North America and Europe. Arauco is not offering pulp volumes to China in April due to production and backlog issues. Shipping times to China from global suppliers are currently 8 weeks, with at least 2mt on the water at all times. In North America, Canfor Pulp, Domtar and West Fraser have confirmed a 10% (USD 145/t) price increase for NBSK – this is the fourth consecutive monthly price increase in 2021. Verso has confirmed a USD 110/t price increase for NBHK pulp. China pulp market seems to now be stable with the decline in the futures price weighed up vs. physical trades. The May softwood futures settled at USD 940/t vs. the June contract of USD 921/t currently.    
  • Graphic paper in Europe remains subdued, with non-integrated producers under further pressure:  The CWF/HW spread is further in the red at EUR 130/t vs. UWF producers, who are still in the green at EUR 66/t. Conversely, graphic paper prices in China are on the move, up by c.12% for both coated and uncoated paper.  
  • European containerboard prices stable: We note that containerboard prices in China are softening (down 4-6%) on the back of weaker demand. This has caused traders to be less optimistic on imports, where European producers are not reducing export prices due to strong domestic demand and higher OCC prices. In China, testliner imports through to February are up 40% y/y to 318kt – but down 24% from November and December 2020. Likewise for corrugated medium imports of 475kt, up 7% y/y but down 37% from last year. Kraftliner has been impacted harder, with imports of 150kt, down 15% y/y and down 35% from last year. After weeks of rising OCC prices, the market was stable this week, potentially on the back of Indian buyers withdrawing from the market to chase recycled brown pulp purchases.

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