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N.A. Market Pulp Remains Weak

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North American softwood pulp markets remain weak and prices slipped $20/metric ton m/m in January, Wilde reports. Hardwood markets appear to be close to a bottom—prices were flat m/m in January. U.S. NBSK (northern bleached softwood kraft) fell $20/metric ton to $870/metric ton in January. Spot prices at $600 - $650/metric ton (-$25/metric ton m/m in January) remain well below list price levels. At current spot levels, prices appear to be at/below mill cash-cost levels.

"This is apt to be among the issues behind news that the 350,000 metric tpy Terrace Bay, Ont., Canada, mill won't be restarting as planned," Wilde says. Other key issues, he adds, include: (1) sluggish pulp demand in Europe (No. 1 global market), (2) soft paper demand in developed countries, and (3) higher inventories. The fluff pulp market is also weak with prices down ˜$35/metric ton m/m in January.


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