The paper market expects the resumption of consumption to boost the production of packaging.
In recent years, with the fall in domestic demand, companies in the sector have strengthened exports.
“There is a prospect of improvement in 2019. The packaging segment has a very strong link to GDP. We believe in the growth of demand, “says Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s commercial director in Latin America, Luciano Neves.
Pöyry’s economic studies manager, Manoel Neves, points out that the paper for packaging is directly benefited by the improvement of the economic environment.
“A positive cycle is expected and every type of product uses packaging: food, medicine, consumer goods, among others.”
In view of this scenario, Ahlstrom-Munksjö invested around R $ 100 million in its Jacareí (SP) plant to expand the production capacity of special coated paper (used in the manufacture of packaging).
“We produce 105,000 tons of paper per year. With this expansion, 100% of this capacity can be converted into special papers, “explains Luciano Neves.
The executive says that in 2018 the domestic market demand was lower than expected.
“It has been difficult, it has grown very little. We see the very warm demand, similar to 2017. ”
Due to this scenario, the company had to adjust the original planning to maintain production at 100% of installed capacity by exporting more.
“We guided our business to develop market and export more. Our focus is Latin America and we are also looking for the United States, “says Luciano Neves, who estimates that exports account for about 30% of production in the last two years. “Previously, it was around 10%.”
The company expects that, with the improvement of the Brazilian economy, this percentage of exports will be reduced. “When the product goes for export, the logistics cost is higher,” he says.
In addition to the investment in the Jacareí unit, Ahlstrom-Munksjö bought a special paper mill from MD Papéis in Caieiras (SP).
The investment was close to R $ 400 million.
“We have confidence in the Brazilian market and in Latin America. We decided to invest before the presidential elections and we believe in the growth of the segment, “says the executive.
Hygiene and consumption
Manoel Neves points out that, in addition to the packaging market, the tissue paper segment (for hygienic use) should benefit from the improvement of the economic environment.
“It’s a sector directly linked to income, health and hygiene, which are already growing,” he points out.
Solenis, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals for several markets, such as pulp and paper, oil and gas and mining, estimates that it had a positive year of 2018, but below expectations.
“There was some frustration with the regional economic performance and we were affected by the inflation of raw material and appreciation of the dollar,” says Solenis vice president Latin America, José Armando Piñón Aguirre.
The executive says that the company grew by more than 10% this year, mainly due to the pulp and paper market.
“It’s an area that has a very high competitiveness. We have seen significant growth in the tissue segment and we expect to grow together with our customers in the packaging segment. ”
Aguirre says that the input inflation used by the company was caused by hurricanes that hit chemical plants in the US and the closure of plants in China due to environmental restrictions.
“It affected the world’s supply of raw material. With the exchange rate devaluation, this was even higher. ”
The company has three manufacturing units in Brazil, located in the interior of São Paulo, and expects to grow at least twice the GDP in 2019.
“In recent years, the country’s economy has shrunk, but we have always grown. We seek to prepare ourselves, regardless of the macroeconomic scenario. But growth would benefit us, “says Aguirre.
Source: CELULOSE ONLINE
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