Board Converting News, January 18, 2021

Converter Outlook, Part 2 (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

close their stores and redirect customers to shop solely on their online platforms. All use boxes to ship their products, which will force demand to remain strong. “The North American market also remains extremely attractive for foreign countries and I believe more capacity will flood our market over the second half of 2021. It is also important to recognize the advancements in our industry, starting with numerous investments in state-of-the-art box plants and the addition of high-tech corrugators, flexo ma- chines and digital printing machines. These technological improvements help reduce costs, eliminate waste and im- prove efficiencies. “To conclude, 2020 was an anomaly due to the pan- demic, which threw all predictions out the window. My 2021 prediction will be that the first half of the year will remain very tight, with demand continuing at an all-time high. The second half of the year will see an increase supply from do- mestic capacity and foreign suppliers. The corrugated in- dustry might be considered an ‘older’ industry without the flash that other businesses have, however, throughout the years this seems to have changed. Increased investment in technological advancements along with an emphasis on reducing plastic to improve the environmental impact, the corrugated industry has turned into the perfect alternative to satisfy consumer needs. If you don’t believe me, take a drive around your neighborhood on recycling day. I’m sure you will enjoy seeing the mountains of boxes.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

indicated box shipments to be down 2.1 percent and in- ventories up 145,200 short tons. Mills were even shutting down due to a lack of orders, almost hard to believe given the current market condition. This past year was quite the turnaround considering the initial expectations from the entire industry, which can only reinforce the meaning of the word ‘expectations’ as it can be far from reality. “This will lead me into my next topic, which is the mil- lion-dollar question everyone wants to know: what will happen to the corrugated industry in 2021? “As previously stated, predictions and forecasts can be helpful, but at times inaccurate, so I will offer my market insights given the information I have at my disposal. More supply will hit the market in 2021, beginning with the start- up of several machines, including IP’s Riverdale conver- sion (450,000t), New-Indy’s Catawba (400,000t), Green Bay Packaging (445,000t) and McKinley Paper’s Port An- geles (180,000t) to name a few. Overall, there will be an additional two million tons added to the market, which will alleviate the pressure on demand. Will demand remain strong or weaken while these additional tons are added? “We believe the box demand will remain strong through the first half of 2021 due to the increase demand in e-com- merce and home food deliveries, among other reasons. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is not going anywhere any- time soon, which is forcing restaurants and businesses to

Do you need printed sheets? We have your answer.. Introducing Heartland’s ColorCorr. This is “flexo-printing in the round”. On our corrugator we can print up to 109” wide. The advantage is that we can print the equivalent of ½ roll at a time and not be required to keep several rolls of very expensive preprinted paper on the floor. Much less waste and risk. In continual print mode, we use either laser-engraved rubber rolls or solid rubber rolls to print a “flood coat” or a repeating pattern. If we are printing a repeating pattern, we can run a two-color design on the paper. Customers have found that running sheets we print can allow them to run a lighter-grade due to reduced caliper loss, and in some cases eliminate one or more machine passes.

For more information contact: Charlie Freeman | 816-500-8889 | Tim Kramer | 816-841-8317 |


January 18, 2021

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