• Pulp prices in the green, with China softwood pulp leading gains: Prices for pulp imports look set to creep up in China across the board, driven by supply-side disruptions and shortages with customers. Suzano has announced a USD 30/t price increase for BEK pulp for all global sales effective 1 March. PPPC reported World-20 market pulp stats for December 2021. Global pulp producer stocks declined by 2 days m/m to 42 days-of-supply (BSK: -1 days to 43 and BHK: -3 days to 40), while shipments were down 2.3% y/yz & +11.4% m/m to 4.255mt (SW: +11.7% m/m & flat y/y to 2.066mt; HW: +11.4% m/m & -4.1% y/y to 2.507mt). The shipment-to-capacity ratio improved to 91% (Dec 2020: 99%). LD Celulose’s (Lenzing JV with Duratex) new DWP mill is 95% ready; and start-up is expected in less than 60 days. The project is on budget despite the pandemic and higher costs due to inflation. LD hopes to reach full capacity in H2 22E. NOREXECO pulp futures for 23E imply a 11-15% decline in Europe, while prices in China are expected to decline by 7-8%.
  • Graphic Paper in the green, with CWF leading gains (+3%): After factoring in a 30% discount to list pulp prices, the CWF/HW spread improves to EUR 203/t (UWF margin EUR 313). Sappi Europe to increase prices for its graphic paper and board products by 8% from 1 April. In the US, AF&PA released the January 2022 Printing & Writing stats recently. Key read-though for Sappi was encouraging with CFS purchases up 29%, while imports increased by 58% y/y and exports declined by 8% y/y. Inventories were flat m/m.  
  • European containerboard prices remain steady: In the US, 2021 kraftliner exports ended the year down 16.4% y/y to 3.49mt, the lowest annual total since 2013. US kraft linerboard exports averaged 291kt per month. Mexico was a key export market for the US, while exports to Italy were down 39%.

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