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Writing & Printing paper demand badly crumpled; mills closed or operating at lower capacity

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WPP's demand drop, paper mills closed their operation

Writing & Printing paper demand badly crumpled; mills closed or operating at lower capacity

JK Paper to ramp up Export | Inventories going up | 'Do Not Care Attitude' of paper mill responsible 

New Delhi | 4th May 2021 | The Pulp and Paper Times:

The badly spread Corona pandemic in India is eating out the demand for the industrial sector, paper is one of them. The demand for writing and printing paper is going to go through a sea change and there will be permanent damage to several areas of the paper manufacturing business.

Situated in Gorakhpur, Rayana Paper Board Industries Limited producing Writing and printing and newsprint has stopped the production due to the plummeted demand. “we have shut down our paper mill’s operation on 12th April, Corona has created panic in common man, schools & collages have closed, we are in trouble,” Mr. Lalji Singh, Managing Director of Rayana Paper Board Industries.

Rayana Paper Board is now manufacturing the newsprint on its second paper machine to combat the idleness of the machine.

Talking exclusively to The Pulp and Paper Times, sources in JK Paper informed that demand for Writing and printing paper has been plummeted by 30 to 40 percent. Talking about the Rayagada plant, he says “We are operating at 100% capacity, but inventories going up”

JK Paper is planning to ramp up its exports and try to keep the machines running as the situation is not bad outside India, “but if the stocks are more than 20 days production we shall prepone some annual maintenance shuts” sources said.

JK Paper is optimistic that with Covid wave peaking in mid-May coupled with various initiatives by Centre/ States & private players to improve health infrastructure, things should start improving in June.

“The current situation is a transient phenomenon due to poor offtake of Writing & Printing grades. Once the Schools and Colleges will be fully operational, the Writing & Printing demand will be restored and Mills will be back to normal product mix,” said Mr. Madhukar Mishra, Managing Director- Star Paper Mills in an interview to The Pulp and Paper Times.

Former President FPTA and Managing Director of Narsingh Dass & Co., Mr. Satpal Gupta describes his view on the situation and says, changes in consumer behaviour during the pandemic have accelerated the decline in demand, especially in writing and printing paper segment. The domestic manufacturers ‘do not care attitude’, doing away with decades of traditional norms, unilaterally violating the customs laid out in the “Paper Trade Customs As Agreed by IPMA & FPTA”, 

“Disregarding the interests of the domestic markets, increased emphasis on exports, adopting and practicing transactional pricing, prices changing on an hourly and daily basis, lack of mutual trust and respect, and inadequate and reasonable margin in proportion to the risks involved, are some of the reasons that are likely to impact the sustainability and survival of the manufacturer,” Mr. Gupta says.

Kamakshi Paper, Situated at Gajraula, Uttar Pradesh, has also postponed its expansion plan due to the pandemic, “we were planning to set up a 100 TPD tissue machine, but the market is not quite well now” Mr. Ayush Grag, Director, Kamakshi Papers informed.

We are under the heavy loss of per day cash flow since the mill was closed down on 15th April; the demand of Writing printing is totally collapsed, we are planning to shift our production on newsprint manufacturing, says Mr. Anuj Modi, Managing Director, Mahaveer Paper Mill Pvt. Ltd., a waste paper-based writing printing paper mills situated at Titlagarh, District Bolangir, Orissa.

The demand for educational books has dropped by 40%-45%. As a result, 2020-21 will bring no profit growth for the paper industry, and firms will face volume losses.

Designate - President FPTA, Mr. Deepak Mittal has projected earlier in a IPPTA’s webinar that, “After recovering majority of losses of 2020 in 2021, globally the writing and printing paper grades are expected to shrink by an average of 4.9% until 2024 wherein close to 13.8-mn tonne/ annum of demand will shrink during this period.”

Kamakshi Papers has been in the doldrums for the past two months, “we are facing severe adverse conditions in writing printing demand, operating our plant below 50 percent capacity. We are manufacturing kraft paper and newsprint as per the orders we received” Mr. Ayush said.

“Market scenario is very tough, even though we can’t force our staff to go out and bring the orders. In May and June month, there is a no sign of recovery of demand” Mr. Ayush says

 

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