Just over a year ago, we put together a Market Insights piece about the rising tide of pulp futures. At the time, we were marvelling about the 400 million tonnes of pulp futures transactions in the previous 12 months of trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE). In 2021, volumes eclipsed that number in the first three months of trading! Like it or not, pulp futures trading is a thing now. As we saw in the unprecedented run-up of prices in the first quarter of 2021, it has become clear that the global physical and financial markets for pulp are inextricably linked.

So, what does this mean for buyers and sellers of pulp?

This is one of the key questions we will examine in this new Market Insights piece about the future of China pulp futures. As buyers scramble to deal with the whiplash of several rapid price increases of more than $100/tonne, sellers are trying to get their heads around how this will play out in the future. In short, now is the time to figure out how to factor in this new variable as you chart out your strategy for the future.

Opportunity or threat?

Both! If you ignore it, the financial market will certainly rear its ugly head in ways you didn’t expect. If you take the time to understand it and make it part of your strategy, however, there are plenty of opportunities to use it to your advantage. So let’s get stuck-in and get our heads around this massive new elephant in the room that we can no longer ignore!

Are the developments in pulp futures trading a threat or an opportunity? Find out in this special report from Fastmarkets