Companies in this industry primarily manufacture pulp, paper, and paperboard. Major US companies include Clearwater Paper, KapStone Paper, Verso, and units of integrated manufacturers Georgia Pacific and International Paper; major companies based outside the US include Nippon Paper (Japan), Smurfit Kappa (Ireland), and Stora Enso (Finland).
The global pulp and paper industry produces about 400 million metric tons of paper and 180 million metric tons of pulp per year, according to RISI, a data service specializing in forest products industries.
The US pulp, paper, and paperboard mill industry includes about 150 companies with combined annual revenue of more than $80 billion.
Demand depends on both consumer and business use of paper products. The profitability of individual companies depends largely on production efficiency. Mills owned by large paper companies have advantages by being vertically integrated; the parent corporation may own timber farms, sawmills, pulp and paper mills, conversion plants, and other end-product manufacturing facilities. Small mills can compete successfully in regional markets, in close proximity to timber sources or customers. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for 90% of revenue.
Imports of pulp and paper mill products account for about 15% of the US market. Canada is the largest source of imports. Exports, chiefly to Mexico, China, Canada, and Japan, account for about 20% of US production.
Canada is also the largest supplier of imported logs, a key raw material for this industry.
Quarterly Industry Update
Call Preparation Questions
Web Links and Acronyms