Netherlands • Since their last edition in 2013, the analysts at AWA have updated their detailed study of the range and diversity of specialty papers and paperboards now available worldwide.
The study emphasises the following:
- Identifying the many and varied grades of specialty papers;
- Discussing the present and future opportunities, focusing on those grades that are the most important and are developing in the global market;
- Looking at the changing structure of the specialty papers business throughout the supply chain; and;
- Outlining the key players involved.
Since they published the last edition in 2013, much has changed in the specialty paper and paperboard markets. The trends for change in specialty markets previously noted by AWA have continued. Some of the key trends have been:
- Shifts in demand and increasingly in production for specialty papers and paperboards from the mature North American and Western European markets to developing Eastern European, Asia-Pacific and South American markets;
- Financial problems for some established specialty producers in the developed economies;
- Change of ownership of established specialty paper and paperboard producers in both developed and developing markets through acquisition and merger;
- Continued conversion of commodity papermaking assets to the production of specialties;
- Expansion and updating of equipment, especially in Europe and developing markets;
- Closure of equipment and mills that are not capable of cost-effective performance;
- Further consolidation in the customer base for specialty papers through acquisition and merger;
- Some significant investments in specialty paper and paperboard machines, particularly in China and to a lesser degree in Europe;
- Forward integration into converting by some paper producers;
- Developments in raw materials for specialty paper and paperboard production;
- The current low price of petroleum feed stocks;
- Increased and improved paper industry pro-active promotion of papers for traditional and new end-uses.