Paper Industry Commentary
September Newsletter

Let’s take a very simplified and quick look around the Pulp World. Cellulosic pulps are comprised of basically the same materials, cellulose (polysaccharides), hemicellulose, lignin, and extractives.

The economic downturn that has gripped the world since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an extreme degree of uncertainty, which is clearly illustrated in “the VIX”—the Chicago Board Options Exchange's Volatility Index. Investors often use the index as a gauge of fear and its 52-week range has demonstrated plenty of volatility, vacillating between $11 - $85.

According to the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA), which cited U.S. Census Bureau data, paper and wood products industry operating profits in the United States totaled about $17.7 billion in 2019, the second highest on record after $19.4 billion in 2018.

Due to their reliance on coal, Asia Pacific mills have a higher carbon footprint than other regions. Per FisherSolve data, coal burned in Asian boilers contributes 85% of the total fossil fuel carbon emitted by Asian pulp and paper mills.

Major global Pulp & Paper producers have signed on as founding members of #GreenSource, an initiative to promote the role of wood fiber industries in the effort to achieve the EU’s climate neutrality target by 2050. #GreenSource brings together members of the European Pulp Industry Sector Association (EPIS) and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi).

The forest products industry has been making headlines since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 1Q2020. The pulp & paper sector was top-of-mind during the widespread run on toilet paper that took place from March through June, and the lumber sector has been front-page news in recent weeks as prices for finished lumber set new records by huge margins.

Fisher International and Forest2Market business partner IndustryEdge has teamed up with The Australasian Pulp & Paper Technology Association (Appita) to produce a series of six insightful webinars focused on the Australasian and global pulp and paper markets. The second webinar in the series features a detailed interview from inside the Chinese pulp and paper supply chain with Fisher International’s Neo Wu, Director of Sales for China.
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