Blog Post

Improving market fundamentals for HW pulp; a tight market to support price hikes

(02 Dec 2016) PPPC [Pulp & Paper Products Council] stats for hardwood pulp for the month of November show improved market fundamentals. After several months of contraction, November saw a 90% increase in operating rates increased (up from 77%), inventories down 1 day and shipments +5% y/y.
As per the PPPC report, “total shipments were up 4% y/y, with shipments to China up 15% y/y and Europe once again delivering growth of 1% y/y after several months in the red. BHKP shipments were up 5% y/y and BHKP inventories were down 1 day to 47, (inventories were down 1 day on average from October-November in the last 5 years). SW shipments were up 4% y/y and inventories flat at 31 days.” All this is good news for further price hikes. Commenting on the year-end hardwood (HW) pulp prices hikes, a BTG Pactual report dated Dec. 22, 2016 said that “so far, we have seen 3 price increases announced for HW recently and all evidence seems to point that they are sticking in China (prices rebounding ~US$40/t from Sept/Oct lows) and it seems like only a matter of time until prices rebound in Europe. Momentum remains strong for now on delays for APP’s Oki plant, lower net addition of supply in 2017 and some relief from capacity shutdowns/conversions announced recently. We are more enthused with HW price
momentum over the coming months on these factors.”
As per BTG, as of date in the month of December, 1. a 2.6% rise in China BHKP prices and 2. the EU NBSK vs. BHKP spread is up US$3.6/t in December to US$156/t with EU BHKP prices relatively flat in December.
To read related articles look up:
“Updated: BEK prices continue to rise; NBSK prices firming up in China”
AND
“Pulp producers come out with price hikes for BEK & other pulp grades w.e.f January 01, 2017”
(Source: EUWID, RISI, BTG Pactual, PPPC & other industry reports)

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