April 2022 Paper Market Update

LSC Paper Market Update April 2022 .pdf (392.24 kb)


Finnish Paperworkers’ Union extends UPM strike until April 30, 2022. 

The Paperworkers’ Union announced today that the strike at most UPM’s Finnish mills will continue until April 30, 2022, unless new collective labor agreements are reached before that. This is the 4th extension to the strike and comes amid continued intensive negotiations. "Drafting of business specific collective agreements, led by the conciliator, has continued during the past weeks. There is already a settlement proposal for UPM Pulp. Now it is important to focus on solving the open questions in the remaining UPM businesses", says Jyrki Hollmén, VP, Labour markets, UPM. 

Stora Enso to divest four paper production sites

Stora Enso has initiated a sales process for a possible divestment of four paper production sites. The divestment intent is aligned with the Group’s strategy to focus on the long-term growth potential for its renewable products in packaging, building solutions, and biomaterials innovations. Stora Enso’s paper production sites intended for divestment are Anjala in Finland, Hylte and Nymölla in Sweden, and Maxau in Germany. Together the divestment of these mills could potentially decrease paper capacity by 1.7 million tonnes/yr. 

ND Paper to convert PM26 at Biron, WI mill

ND Paper, the US subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, will be converting the coated paper machine (B26) at its Biron WI mill from coated mechanical papers to lightweight, high-strength recycled packaging products. The conversion is slated for the end of 2022. The B26 machine produces approximately 260,000 short tons annually of lightweight coated mechanical (CM) papers for end uses like catalogs, magazines and retail inserts. According to RISI, North American coated mechanical capacity has already declined enough that the B26 conversion will remove nearly 20% of the remaining NA capacity base and push coated mechanical operating rates close to 100% in 2023. 

Paper supply has never been tighter. 

In addition to the three other stories in this report, there are several other factors contributing to the unprecedented tightness in the paper markets, including:

  • The Pactiv Evergreen closure last October removed 13% of NA CM capacity.
  • StoraEnso’s closure of its Kvarnsveden, Sweden and Veitsiluoto, Finland mills removed 1.5M tons of graphic paper capacity in Q3 2021 - reducing imports to NA. These closures represent 9% of global SCA+ capacity and 12% of WE capacity.
  • Sappi removed 264K tpy of CFS capacity in late 2020 with the shut of Stockstadt PM2.
  • Annual maintenance shuts, which will reduce the amount of saleable capacity, have begun and will continue into the early Fall.
  • Coated paper mill inventories are at historically low levels. 


Demand and Operating Rate Forecasts (RISI) 

U.S. Economy and Paper End-Use Indicators 

N.A. Coated Paper Operating Rates 


N.A. P&W Paper Producer Inventories 


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