Here are some Converting Curmudgeon “bullet points of interest.”
- The overall specialty papers market is projected to grow 2.2% CAGR from 24.16 million tonnes this year to 26.98 million tonnes in 2022. All product sectors show positive increases, but there are significant differences in volume and growth rates between segments.
- Global production in 2016 shows that Asia-Pacific now accounts for 46% of worldwide output, followed by Europe at 34%, and North America at 16%. There is continued developing activity in Latin America.
- The majority of specialty paper machines makes less than 50,000 tonnes/yr and tend to be small, narrow, slow and often old systems. North American specialty paper machines on average are larger than in other regions – 160 in. wide vs. 110 in. wide elsewhere.
- Various flexible packaging forms are the largest collective end-use for specialty papers with a 23% market share. These include protective wraps, metallizing base papers, waxing base papers, laminating base papers, grease-proof papers, parchment, twist wraps, and C1S packaging papers. The five-year forecast for flex-pack specialty papers is 2.6% CAGR to 7.19 million tonnes in 2022.
- C1S label papers are the largest specific end-use segment with a 14% market share, followed by machine-glazed papers at 11%, décor paper at 9%, and release liners at 8%.
- As technology changes further influence end-use markets, the demand for some products will increasingly decline, i.e.: cheque paper, photographic paper, etc. As the speed of change increases, product development cycles will become shorter to exploit potential opportunities.
- Many specialty paper mill suppliers and converters are increasingly international in their outlook and strategy. Growth in China is expected to continue in the number of end-use applications.
- The successful mill will maintain flexible production and cultivate strong relationships with converters who have the most direct contact with end users.
The 2018 Specialty Papers US conference will be held Oct. 2-3 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in