The COVID-19 pandemic has not had a major negative effect on the Russian pulp and paper sector, which continues its active development this year.
This is reflected by maintaining stable demand for both pulp and paper in the domestic market, which compensated the reduction of exports this year.
In the meantime, the increase of the demand for packaging and sanitary and hygienic products (such as toilet paper) in Russia during the period of March-May supported sales of domestic pulp and paper producers in 2020.
Last year the production of the majority of packaging materials in Russia significantly increased: kraft liner - by 26.6%, fluting - by 10.9, corrugated board - by 3.2%.
The situation with exports generally stabilized in the second half of 2020
Overall, exports of kraft paper and kraft cardboard in Russia last year grew by almost 40%, while the supplies of reclaimed cardboard by more than 1.5 times, compared to 2019.
According to Yuri Lakhtikov, President of RAO Bumprom, a public association in Russia, which unites leading local paper and cardboard producers, Russian producers have proved to be competitive in the world market both in terms of prices and quality.
One of the reasons for this is high quality virgin fiber, which is used for the production of kraft paper in Russia. Moreover, according to Lakhtikov, Russia currently produces high-quality waste paper, which does not go through a lot of stages of processing.
By: Eugen Gerden