Total boxboard production in August decreased eight percent compared to August 2019. It was down three percent when compared to the same eight months of 2019. The boxboard operating rate was 90.4 percent, down 3.6 points from August 2019 and essentially flat (-0.4 pts.) year-to-date. Solid Bleached Boxboard production in August decreased 13 percent compared to August 2019. It was down six percent when compared to the same eight months of 2019. Recycled Boxboard production in August decreased six percent compared to August 2019. It was down two percent when compared to the same eight months of 2019. Unbleached Kraft & Gypsum production in August decreased two percent compared to August 2019. It was down one percent when compared to the same eight months of 2019.
Total packaging papers and specialty packaging shipments in August increased one percent compared to August 2019. They were up three percent when compared to the same eight months of 2019. The operating rate was 85.2 percent, down 2.7 points from August 2019 and down 1.0 points year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of August increased 4,000 short tons from the previous month and were up 12,000 short tons compared to August 2019.
Total containerboard production in August remained essentially flat (+0.4 percent) compared to August 2019. It was up four percent when compared to the same eight months of 2019. August 2020 production of containerboard for export decreased nine percent compared to the same month last year; it was up 23 percent year-to-date. The containerboard operating rate was 92.1 percent, essentially flat (-0.4 pts.) from August 2019 and up 2.7 points year-to-date. Mill inventories of containerboard at the end of August increased 35,000 short tons from the previous month and were up 68,000 short tons compared to August 2019.
Understandably, to our customers in the food industry, product safety standards are especially important. Which is why establishing a clear commitment to this aspect and developing a thriving product safety culture across our network is key to our continued success – and our customers’ success too. Increasingly customers expect paper that isn’t just safe - but sustainable as well. However, there is a common misconception that recycled paper is unsuitable for food packaging because it has already been used and had prior contact with other substances. All the sustainable paper products marketed and sold to the food industry are safe for food contact. If the quality of the Paper for Recycling (PfR) meets EN643 standards, if the correct EN643 grades are used and if it is carefully handled and monitored through the pulping and the manufacturing process, then the quality of the finished paper product will also be high.
Over the last two years, Domtar has evaluated the merits of repurposing key paper machines as we adjust our white paper production capacity to match our customer demand. That’s why we recently announced we are converting our Kingsport, Tennessee, paper mill into the company’s first containerboard facility. Similar to previous decisions that have adapted our mills, like the 2016 conversion at our Ashdown Mill to produce fluff pulp, containerboard manufacturing is an exciting new market that directly aligns with our expertise and more than 100-year legacy of turning fiber into useful products. “Repurposing the Kingsport Mill provides Domtar with an excellent strategic entry point into a growing market with a very competitive, low-cost asset,” says Domtar President and CEO John Williams. “We view this as a strategic first step toward building a large value-adding business in the containerboard market.”
Leading packaging and paper manufacturer, Mondi, is launching a fully recyclable 80% paper-based packaging solution for cold meats and cheese. The new packaging will reduce plastic usage for Austrian dairy producer SalzburgMilch by approximately 40 tonnes per year, compared to its previously used rigid plastic trays. Mondi has launched its innovative PerFORMing removable in partnership with SalzburgMilch for the brand SalzburgMilch Premium and the premium own-brand SPAR Natur*pur organic cheese slices. The shallow paper tray combines the recyclability of paper with the essential barrier properties of a thin plastic coating to keep food fresh and avoid waste. Technical details about the product: *Formable paper packaging with a patented barrier *Made from natural brown paper (Advantage Formable Brown) *Ideally suited for shallow food trays (e.g. for cheese, meat or fish) *High symmetrical stretch for uniform formability *Suitable for existing filling lines *Results in 70% less plastic used compared to plastic trays *70% CO2 reduction compare to plastic alternative
Metsä Board, a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group, is putting the latest artificial intelligence to good use at its Kemi mill in order to improve the runnability of its white kraftliner on a customer’s corrugating line. Metsä Board will be collaborating with DS Smith, a leading provider of corrugated packaging solutions operating across 37 countries. The analytical solutions and technology are supplied by Valmet, the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services to the pulp, paper and energy industries. Metsä Board’s Kyro mill began using artificial intelligence for quality management on its folding boxboard machine last year. Metsä Board is also continuing to investigate different possibilities to implement artificial intelligence on other production lines.
Sonoco ThermoSafe, a unit of Sonoco and the leading global provider of temperature assurance packaging for life sciences and healthcare, announced that its new Pegasus ULD® bulk temperature controlled container has received FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval as a unit load device (ULD). The Pegasus ULD® is the world’s first passive bulk temperature-controlled container for pharmaceutical use that is an FAA-approved unit load device, which allows it to speed through existing international ground handling and customs processes at the lowest possible cost. FAA approval officially enables reciprocal EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) approval, which is anticipated in the very near future.
In its latest ESG Risk Ratings, the sustainability analysis company Sustainalytics has ranked BillerudKorsnäs the most sustainable enterprise to invest in within the packaging sector. For the renowned Swedish company, this top ranking is proof positive that its unswerving focus on sustainability has paid off. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index already ranks BillerudKorsnäs the most sustainable packaging company in the world. In its annual assessment, the sustainability analysis company Sustainalytics rates BillerudKorsnäs as having low risk exposure combined with a strong approach to sustainability issues. In fact, BillerudKorsnäs was awarded an ESG Risk Rating score of 10.0, where low figures represent low risk, putting the company in first place among all the packaging companies analysed.
The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is facing new challenges following damages at feedstock monoethylene glycol (MEG) plants. The damages resulted in a force majeure declaration by three MEG producers, which in turn led to a force majeure declaration by a PET producer. Asia is being considered as a possible supplier of MEG until domestic plants resume operations. Local sources are hopeful that water and power at the affected plants in Louisiana may be restored in early October, but believe that the impact on PET availability will be significant. This has tightened supply as demand has remained robust. Although resin imports from Latin American may offset part of the shortage, many believe that pellets prices are likely to increase. Inquiries to Asian PET suppliers have shown an increase as prices in the region are low at $650-680/tonne FOB, but delivery would take weeks.