Mr. Lee continued: "Pulp prices marginally increased in the first quarter of 2013. However, we believe that overall prices are still low given current projected supply and demand levels. At the end of the first quarter of 2013, list prices in Europe were approximately $840 per ADMT and in North America and China were approximately $900 and $700 per ADMT, respectively."
Mr. Lee continued: "Project Blue Mill at our Stendal mill, which is designed to increase our Stendal mill's annual energy production by 109,000 MWh and annual pulp production by 30,000 ADMTs, remains on schedule and budget and is currently expected to start to generate power sales in or about the end of September 2013."
Mr. Lee added: "Our average overall fiber costs were slightly higher than the previous quarter. Fiber costs at our German mills were up during the first quarter of 2013 due to increased demand from the European pellet and board producers, reduced wood supply because of longer than normal winter weather conditions and lower availability of trucking transportation. Fiber costs at our Celgar mill decreased as a result of increased sawmill activity in the region. The recent extreme weather conditions are expected to put upward pressure on fiber costs at our German mills in the short term, whereas we expect fiber costs at our Celgar mill to continue to decrease in the short term."
Mr. Lee concluded: "We currently expect strong demand from China as purchasers re-stock inventories which, along with annual maintenance shuts by producers, should cause NBSK pulp prices to continue to gradually increase in the medium term."Three Months Ended March 31, 2013 Compared to Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 Total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2013 decreased by approximately 9% to €198.3 million ($261.8 million) from €218.4 million ($286.4 million) in the same period in 2012, due to lower pulp revenues and energy and chemical revenues. Pulp revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2013 decreased to €180.1 million from €199.4 million in the comparative period of 2012, primarily due to the combined effect of lower pulp sales volumes and average pulp sales realizations and a weaker U.S. dollar relative to the Euro.