09 October 2009 17:40 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A recovery is likely underway in the pulp and paper production sector, potentially boosting demand for pulping and bleaching chemicals such as soda ash, chlorine and caustic soda as well as pigments such as titanium dioxide (TiO2), the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Friday in its weekly economic report.
Pulp and paper represents a $6.4bn (€4.4bn) market for chemicals, with an additional $4bn used in paperboard containers and other converted paper products, the ACC said.
Paper production fell to 2.8m tons (2.5m tonnes) in August, down from 2.9m tons in July. But that decline was largely seasonal, and the 11.9% year-over-year decline in production is near the low for any month in 2009, according to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA).
Likewise, production of paperboard slipped to 3.86m tons in August from 3.89 tons in July, with the 8.9% year-over-year drop near an annual low.
The overall operating rate held steady at 85%.
“The year-over-year declines have been ebbing and it appears that a bottom has been reached, with a recovery underway,” the ACC said.
Other chemicals used by the sector include sodium chlorate, hydrogen peroxide, aluminium oxide, sodium sulfate and sodium silicate, as well as dyes and pigments, whiteners, sizing agents, dry-strength and wet-strength agents, defoamers, biocides and polymers, the ACC said.
Synthetic resins are also used for paper coatings and pigments binders.
($1 = €0.68)
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