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Tables are turning on the pulp market: Prices for bleached eucalyptus pulp (BEK) are poised to move up while northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp prices seem to remain stable.

Until a few weeks ago, an upward trend in pulp prices was dismissed as nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of pulp producers. The talks between suppliers and their customers were primarily focused on how large the mark-downs would be month on month.

But it appears the trend is turning: After a brief stabilization phase in August, prices for September deliveries of bleached hardwood pulp have increased. And there are calls for further hikes in October.

Producers of softwood pulp want to follow suit. In this market, too, the first demands for mark-ups have been on the table for a few weeks. Suppliers want prices to increase as of October, or possibly from November.