Paper sector recovery underway: Pulp & Paper Edge

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The May 2021 edition (Number 191) of Pulp & Paper Edge, IndustryEdge’s monthly analysis of the Australian and New Zealand pulp, paper and paper products industry was published today.

Latest analysis shows the paper sector’s trade has recovered some ground in the first quarter of 2021, but its a patchy and limited recovery at best.

And moment’s after we published this edition, we learned the sale of the Whakatane Board Mill in New Zealand (owned by SIG Combibloc) to the Smurfit Consortium had been announced. That is fabulous news for the people at the mill, their suppliers and customers and for the Australasian manufacturing base. A great way to start the week in an industry that sees too many closures and job losses.

Back to trade and we see that regional printing paper prices dipped 1.7% in March, according to IndustryEdge’s Australasian Printing Paper Price Index, but the new detailed indices show some grades down sharply over the first quarter of this year. Little wonder with imports down a massive 157,000 tonnes year-on-year to the end of March. Still, the value of imports rose almost 20% in March, compared with February – perhaps some signs of recovery.

Pulp prices remain at record highs, but most expect prices to moderate in 2H21, after most paper prices have risen, in line with international experience. In that context it was a little surprising to see Australia’s pulp imports hit a five-year monthly high in March.

Those interested in the state of the local industry will examine the production capacity table and the associated chart (shown below in edited format), as well as consume the other content in the current edition. Next month we will profile the New Zealand industry’s small base, bolstered by the intended continued operation of the Whakatane Board mill.

Subscribers can login to Pulp & Paper Edge here and access all of the content, the historical archive and comprehensive downloadable data files.

Here are the headlines from Edition 191 of Pulp & Paper Edge:

  • An eggshell recovery as growth begins
  • First quarter data points to a recovery of sorts
  • Regional printing paper prices dipped 1.7% in March
  • Imports down 34.2% year-on-year
  • Import value lifts 19.2% in March
  • Copy paper prices low as trade lifts
  • Pulp imports hit five-year high
  • New trade price indexes
  • Sack kraft imports – all bagged up!
  • Sack kraft exports – all bagged out
  • A3 paper imports drift as market continues to decline
  • Fax paper resurgence unlikely but resilience confirmed
  • NZ recovered paper prices keep moving up
  • Production capacity – new charts and data series
  • MARKET EDGE – Downloadable monthly summary of paper and board trade prices for Australia and New Zealand

For a demonstration of Pulp & Paper Edge or sample data series on literally thousands of fibre, paper and paperboard grades and products, contact us here.

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