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Paper Machine Conversions – Tsunami or Trickle?

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White Paper

Marko Summanen, Vice President, Fisher International

When a dam breaks, there can be a catastrophic release of stored up water that rushes downstream doing great damage to the inhabitants below. So, I ask you, is that about to happen with conversions?

There are 1,310 machines worldwide making 121 million metric tons of newsprint or printing and writing grades. Altogether, they represent 27% of the world’s papermaking capacity. A single percent of average global communication papers demand decline would release capacity equal to three or four average size packaging machines. In containerboard, that represents about 0.7% of global capacity; in consumer packaging, 3.5%.

A global demand decline in communications papers accompanied by conversions of closing capacity could clearly have a disruptive impact on packaging markets. This article examines the likelihood of this outcome and what would have to happen for it to occur.

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