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Fastmarkets RISI, Germany
Esko Uutela, was born in Finland and has worked as pulp and paper industry consultant for his whole professional career of more than 30 years. He graduated from the Helsinki School of Economics (Marketing) in 1976 and from the University of Helsinki (Faculty of Forestry) in 1979. Since 1991 he is residing in Germany. After working for almost 18 years for a large forest industry consulting company in Helsinki and Munich, Mr. Uutela decided to establish his own forest industry consulting company EU Consulting in Starnberg, close to Munich in Germany in August 1994. During the past years, EU Consulting has increasingly specialised in offering consulting services for two sectors: the Tissue and recycled fibre businesses. As of March 2007, EU Consulting made a long-term consulting agreement with RISI. Currently Mr. Uutela is responsible for RISI’s Tissue forecasts and market information services worldwide. Mr. Uutela has carried out numerous private client projects, as well as published regularly worldwide, comprehensive multi-client studies on Tissue business developments and global recycled fibre markets.
The global tissue business is currently in a good growth phase, and the market volume reached 37.7 million tonnes in 2017 and exceeded 39 million tonnes in 2018. In both 2016 and 2017, global tissue consumption grew strongly at a rate of 3.8% but preliminary information suggests that 2018 growth was weaker. China continues to be the main driver for the global growth, but also other regions contribute substantially to the market expansion, including also well-developed markets such as North America, which has recently shown surprisingly strong developments. We expect that the average global growth will remain at around 3.5% per year in the next 10 years, meaning that the global tissue demand will reach 53 million tonnes by 2027. Global trade has accelerated, but now the trade wars threaten to slow or even stop this development.
Europe has suffered from the consequences of the 2009 Great Recession and geopolitical developments, such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Market recovery has been slower than anticipated and growth rates have disappointed in recent years. However, new investments have emerged, concentrating on the same areas as before the economic crises: the South and the East, and sub-regional overcapacity is obvious. Restructuring and rationalization with mill and old PM closures is likely to continue, and Kimberly-Clark as the last US tissue company with European operations is considering withdrawal from Europe.