The overcapacity in Europe is most prominent in the market of fine papers, i.e. wood-free coated paper. Insiders estimate the overcapacity in this market to be 1.7 million tonnes. That is why, after more than 100 years, Sappi decided to close down its paper plant in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. This plant of the South-African concern has an annual capacity of 240,000 tonnes. This closure involves the loss of 192 jobs. Sappi is still looking for a buyer for the plant. After all, the paper machine is also suitable to make packaging products and the market for packaging paper/substrates is still growing. Other major production locations by Sappi include Maastricht (the Netherlands), Lanaken (Belgium) and Gratkorn (Austria)
UPM and StoraEnso
When two elephants dance together, the ground will shake… UPM and StoraEnso are in discussion about far-reaching collaboration. The objective is to reduce the overcapacity in the paper market. The exact form of collaboration is not yet clear. The joint capacity of the two giants amounts to approximately 40% of the total European market. Rumour has it that production locations will be accommodated in a newly to be formed joint venture. Considering the size of the paper division, UPM is likely to be given a controlling interest. To be continued...
Developments and Senefelder Misset
Both Sappi and Norske Skog are among Senefelder Misset’s suppliers. We are especially concerned about the proximity of production locations. After all, our customers require increasing flexibility. Prompt delivery times are important to them. That is why we prefer to do business with paper producers located within a radius of 300 - 400 kilometres around Doetinchem. For the time being, we are not too worried about the proposed closures of Sappi and Norske Skog. We are more concerned about the developments around UPM and StoraEnso, particularly in terms of delivery times and the chance of rising paper prices. But so far, the collaboration is not signed and sealed yet.