While our mill anticipated the contraction of the newsprint business as early as 1988, years of marginal profitability of the 1908 mill made the major investments that were necessary difficult to sell. The mill was constantly upgraded, producing a quality product to the end, and needed maintenance was done timely. Even with dramatic reductions in fixed costs and the move to value-added grades, the mill did not survive the impact of the recession and the resulting credit crunch.
As a supplier to paper mills, I see the consumption rate acceleration of Asia (India and China) will cause shortages and supply issues in the next 3-5 years. Some mills are addressing this by spreading their requirements over 2-3 suppliers (the right move from my perspective). Others are "cost driven" to single supply. These low cost suppliers are typically the least reliable.
I mention "global warming" as one such item. What may not be factored into the thinking are the latent heat of melting and evaporation of the icecaps and oceans for example. I will leave it at that.
Webster, New York
Have a comment? Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume we can use your name if we publish your letter.
Remember, if you please, to let your suppliers know you read Nip Impressions!