2021 European Containerboard Mills Outlook: Current Competitiveness and Medium-Term Risk Scenarios

A strong containerboard market is driving record high prices and operating rates in Western and Central Europe. Understand the potential and the risks.

These are appealing times for producers to expand capacity, whether by installing new machines, machine conversions or mill acquisitions.

While singly most projects make sense, all of them together may lead to regional overcapacity. Which containerboard grades and producers are at greatest risk in a potentially weakening market?

This timely study estimates the likelihood of two potential outcomes for all major Western and Central European containerboard assets:
  • Forced closure and potential takeover
  • Voluntary closure or other capacity reduction
What are the options for Europe’s containerboard producers?

Many containerboard producers must evaluate the future competitiveness of their operations. Will they survive on their current strategy, or:
  • Upgrade the ageing equipment? The average technical age of European containerboard machines is 27 years.
  • Increase “swing” capacity? 23% of European containerboard machines also produce other paper or board grades.
  • Divest some of the liquid assets?
  • Shut down some machines completely?
  • Consolidate with another producer?
Get comparative metrics for each facility’s asset quality
  • Capacities
  • Product mix
  • Technical age of machines
  • Importance for the company
See how mills rank for cost competitiveness
  • Cash cost estimates
  • Utilities cost estimates
  • Direct cost estimates
  • Financial risk evaluation
Consider other relevant factors for facilities and companies
  • Swing product portfolio
  • Corrugating integration
  • Recovered paper supply
  • Risk of closure

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