Magazine paper capacity is falling
In Q3 2021, supercalendered (SC) paper capacity decreased by some 400,000 tonnes per/yr as Stora Enso permanently idled PM 12 at its Kvarnsveden mill in Sweden. Capacity will further decrease in H1 2023 when Heinzel converts PM 11 at its Laakirchen mill in Austria from SC to recycled containerboard production.
Towards the end of last year, Smurfit Kappa Group started an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as well as a public consultation for its Parenco Renkum mill in the Netherlands in preparation to apply for a revision of the mill’s current environmental permits. According to the draft Memorandum on Scope and Level of Detail of the EIA, the firm decided to request a review of the mill’s current environmental permits because it is considering the option of producing only packaging paper at the mill and because it wants to make sustainability and social improvements at the site.
During 2021, coated mechanical reel (CMR) production capacity also dropped by some 790,000 tonnes per year due to the closure of SCA’s Ortviken mill in Q1 and the permanent shut of Stora Enso’s PM 5 at its Veitsiluoto mill in Finland.
In 2021, magazine paper production and demand were fairly in line with the 2020 figures, which were considerably lower compared to those for 2019. According to data from EURO-GRAPH, the European Association of Graphic Paper Producers, European SC shipments were stable at 2.5 million tonnes during the first 11 months of last year, while demand slipped by 1.2% year on year to 2.2 million tonnes. European deliveries of CMR improved by 2.4% on a year-on-year basis to 3.7 million tonnes during the period, while European demand increased by 2.5% to 2.9 million tonnes.