Where are Pulp Subs Going?
12-06-2008
We are already seeing a correction in SOP prices, firstly due to the deteriorating qualities, which are often only shredded Mixed generated from mobile shredders or not hand sorted at all. Board mills production has decreased due to the global slow down.  Tissue and fine paper mills are prepared to pay more for SWL and Manifold to improve yields and lessen bleaching costs.
 
The demand for pure pulp substitutes from Hard White down to Sorted White Ledger will be maintained whilst bleached pulp prices remain high and timber supply is not increasing.  Integrated mills are having difficulty increasing finished product prices so the profit is being made from virgin pulp production.  This will ultimately force smaller non-integrated mills to either deink to remain competitive, or simply close until the cycle stabilises.
 
In Australia, Merino tissue mill is now closed permanently.  Amcor Fairfield will follow by 2011, and consequently increasing surpluses of recovered business papers ( 400,000mt going to landfill ) will need to be exported at export parity prices which are likely to be closer to $200 than $300.
 
With increasing recovery of business papers following stricter privacy laws, sorted quality ( SOP ) will need to improve.  This is a choice of shipping sensitive documents offshore for resorting, which is likely to be illegal by 2009, or investing in larger optical sorting plants in secure premises within Sydney and Melbourne.