Global Graphic Paper Demand in Different Recessions
Insight of the Week: Feedback from Fastmarkets RISI Graphic Paper Webinar
We participated in RISI's webinar to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on global graphic paper markets (~30% of paper grade market pulp demand). RISI expects global printing and writing (P&W) demand to fall 9.4Mt in 2020 (-10% year over year), more than twice the contraction in 2019 (-4.3Mt). As a result, global operating rates are projected to fall to record lows, requiring significant closures for a return even close to 90%. Most importantly, P&W demand in Europe is projected to fall 14% year over year in 2020 (from -7% in 2019) and represent the main laggard for market pulp (European P&W producers are mainly non-integrated and, therefore, have a larger impact on market pulp demand). Between grades, RISI projects woodfree paper to remain more resilient than mechanical paper and uncoated to outperform coated grades (heavily used for commercial printing, which is retreating quickly).