Paper360 - January/February 2010 - (Page 8)

OUTLOOK TRENDSPOT TING OUTLOOK: North America 2010 SHUTDOWNS AND TAX CREDITS MADE HEADLINES IN 2009, but overall the North American paper industry is on somewhat firmer ground than a year ago KEN PATRICK and GLENN OSTLE eginning in the fourth quarter of 2008 and continuing through at least the first half of 2009, almost every North American–based paper company took extensive market related downtime, with curtailments and permanent shutdowns building through the fall. Bankruptcies spread epidemically as the economic downturn worked its way around the world. Into the winter, as global economies finally leveled off, the industry took stock, counting casualties and assessing damages in the wake of the economic storm. The results are a mixed bag. More than 20 North American mills went down permanently in 2009, on top of the 25-plus that shut their doors in 2008. Remaining, according to FisherSolve, are 375 mills operating in the U.S. (216 paper only, 137 integrated, and 22 pulp only), and about 110 mills in Canada. About 47 North American machines were idled/ shutdown in 2009—about half of them permanently—on the heels of 59 in 2008. This leaves some 834 lines still operating in the U.S. and 227 in Canada (assuming some double-counting as some machines produce different grades—Figure 1). The 2009 shutdowns represent an estimated loss of some 5.81 million metric tpy of capacity, following a loss of 6.73 million metric tpy in 2008. Where the North American paper industry currently is and where it seems to be going is made clearer by looking at trends over the past decade and quarter century. Paper companies in North America, and worldwide for that matter, have been going through a type of evolutionary “metamorphosis” since the early 1990s, with major mergers-acquisitions, capacity rationalizations, and market realignments occurring in North America, and in the U.S especially. Figure 2. Number of North American paper machines idled/shut down since 2000 Figure 1. Paper machine lines currently operating in North America Figure 3. Total capacity of idled/shut down paper machines in North America, 2000-2009 Paper360º January/February 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - January/February 2010

Paper360 - January/February 2010
Over the Wire
Outlook: North America 2010
Confronting the Carbon Challenge
Improve Your Energy Efficiency
Feature: Paper Machine Clothing
Around the Industry
Association News
Improving Print Performance
Tracking Tension
Dateline: London
Index of Advertisers

Paper360 - January/February 2010