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Where Do We Find Bright Spots?
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The economy in Europe and the United States seems to continue to sputter along. For those of you old enough to remember, it seems like the late 1970s, without the high interest rates -- but those are coming.

The PM40 index is probably at or near a peak, given recent stock performance based on recent news.

Where do we find a couple of bright spots?

Well, here in the USA, on the container side, RockTenn has completed the acquisition of Smurfit Stone and has already started cleaning that mess up. While this means closing down a few facilities, it will be healthy for the industry overall. Inefficient facilities tend to undersell the market in a desperate attempt to stay alive, disturbing the market for everyone.

In Europe, the German decision to get out of nuclear power may result in a market for biofuels. Although we are no fan of biofuels here, this long-term nuclear shutdown plan may finally turn these into a real business for some forest product-related companies.

And fracking, the process that has unleashed huge natural gas reserves in the USA, is starting to work in Texas on oil as well. If the regulators are reasonable, oil may be back for a few more years, giving the alternative energy people time to work on the efficiency of their processes (assuming we do not waste the time as we have in the past).

There are without a doubt, many gloomy aspects to the current worldwide economy, but if you dig hard enough, there is a point of brightness to be found.

A Consultant Connection Member at your service: HurterConsult Inc. - Consulting Engineers for Pulp, Paper, Fiberboard & Cellulosic Biofuels from Nonwood Fibers, Wood, Wastepaper & Purchased Pulp | Resource, Market & Feasibility Studies, Engineering Solutions & Technical Advisory Services | Bob Hurter (613) 749-2181


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