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Containerboard gets interesting
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Between controversies over pricing and major mergers, containerboard is entering some very interesting times. The Smurfit Kappa and WestRock pairing (some say merger, some say takeover) and the International Paper purchase of DS Smith are going to have serious repercussions on the US and European markets. Based on similar historical actions, these may take years to sort out and it is not obvious they will be successes or even what the definition of success might be.

Then there is the controversy over the "published" prices of liner and medium. A long way to go to sort this out.

Then there are the new European Deforestation Regulations which, like many regulations, will reach far beyond the boundaries of implementation.

My prediction: several years of financial displacement affecting all areas of the major pulp and paper grades. Translation: it may take very deep pockets to weather the ongoing and coming storms.

My thoughts on the safest place to be--recycling. The virgin fiber producers (did I mention the recently announced pulp mills and pulp mill expansions in South America?) are going to be in a for a particularly rough time.

Jim Thompson is CEO of Paperitalo Publications.


Get Jim Thompson's "Monograph on Purchasing." Available here.


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