Naples, FL—At a session at the 2001 Gravure Catalog and Insert Council (GCIC) Conference here, John Maine, vice president of pulp and paper service for forecasting firm RISI, said that he expects paper demand among U.S. cataloger to decline 7% next year. In 2001, demand was up 1% from the previous year.
Broken out by paper grade, demand for coated freesheet is expected to plunge 12% next year, as catalogers opt for cheaper supercalendared (SC) papers. Even so, RISI projects a 7% drop in demand for SC paper among catalogers, as well as a 6% decline in use of coated groundwood. Catalog circulation is projected to decline 1% next year.
Given the expected decline in consumption, it’s no surprise that Maine said he expected the market to soften further—bad news for suppliers but not-so-bad news for buyers. Don’t look for huge or immediate bargains, however: Maine said that current inventories are low, and 92 machines with 4.2 million tons of capacity have closed since 1999.