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Weyerhaeuser/IP Deal Highlights Global Trends in Fluff Pulp Market

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As reported in last week’s Over the Wire newsletter, on May 2, Weyerhaeuser, Federal Way, Wash., USA, announced the sale of all of its fluff pulp assets to International Paper (IP), Memphis, Tenn., for $2.2 billion. These two firms account for 39% of the global market for fluff pulp, which is used in diapers and other absorbent hygiene products. 

The deal may result in asset spin-offs to satisfy regulators. Along with other capacity expansion projects, this hints at further potential rationalization in the fluff pulp space. This and other trends are explored in the Outlook for the World Fluff Pulp Market, a new report from RISI, Boston, Mass.

"The expected increase in fluff pulp manufacturing capacity will reduce operating rates for the industry. New plants and conversions could lead to an oversupply in the global market," said Ben Sirois, RISI economist and lead author of the Outlook.

The study explores drivers of disruption among fluff pulp suppliers, including:
  • Potential for further M&A, in the wake of the recent Weyco/IP deal 
  • Possible over-capacity, as new plants come online faster than the market is growing 
  • fluff pulp production.
The study also includes supply, demand, cost, and pricing history and forecasts for the entire world fluff pulp sector. 
      
The full Outlook for the World Fluff Pulp Market will be released in coming weeks. A preliminary forecast is available for those who pre-order the study today. Access to the report is available online. 
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Companies with historical fluff pulp data included in the study:
  • Current Fluff Pulp Producers—Arauco, Domtar, Fujian Tengrongda, Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Klabin, Rayonier, Resolute Forest Products, SCA, Stora, Suzano, UPM, WestRock, Weyerhaeuser
  • Past Fluff Pulp Producers—Celulosa Cambara, CHH Pulp & Paper, CMPC, Kimberly-Clark, Korsnas, Lwarcel, M-real, Paper Excellence, Skogall, Tembec.

 

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