Specialty papers - paper products given unique characteristics in manufacturing, conversion or processing - are generally perceived to be higher added-value products, although their supply, demand and utility are relatively small compared with printing and writing or packaging papers. The main appeal of specialty papers for the producer is a better financial performance. The paper industry's prime objective is to maximise financial performance for its investors, and manufacturing specialty papers is one way of increasing margins and profits.
Over recent decades, however, margins in the commodity paper segment have been squeezed by overcapacity and declining demand in many areas, notably printing and writing grades. Low profitability has encouraged a strong trend for manufacturers to look at the opportunities offered by specialty papers, which are of higher added value and hence can give higher margins. However the path from commodity manufacture to specialty paper production is not necessarily an easy one. There are a number of key factors that have to be addressed to ensure a successful transition.
Click the download button to recieve the Getting Out of the Commodity Trap White Paper and learn more about how specialty papers can be a useful diversification for paper mills and how these paper grades come with their own business challenges.