Paper and Paperboard Net Exports Projected to Rise

FPL economists Peter Ince (retired) and Prakash Nepal see a future in the paper trade. Their recent study, Effects on U.S. Timber Outlook of Recent Economic Recession, Collapse in Housing Construction, and Wood Energy Trends (FPL-GTR-219), finds evidence to suggest a reversal in historic net export trends for U.S. paper and paperboard.

paper and paperboard projection

Total U.S. paper and paperboard historical net trade from 1970 to 2011 and baseline projection of annual net trade volumes to 2060. From FPL-GTR-219.

Ince and Nepal attribute their projections to gains in producer competitiveness, closure of less efficient paper mills, and projected global economic growth with a lower U.S. dollar exchange value. All this adds up to a favorable future for net U.S. paper and paperboard exports.

The projected expansion of U.S. production and net exports, write Ince and Nepal, consists mostly of “other paper and paperboard products” which includes packaging paper and paperboard products, tissue and sanitary paper products, and specialty paper products.

For a more in-depth look at this research, see a previous Lab Notes post regarding the future of wood fuel feedstocks or the Winter 2013 edition of FPL’s quarterly newsletter, NewsLine.