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        Brief analysis of current situation of paper and paperboards and forecast of the development trend

        Date:2014-1-21 10:46

          I. The general development level of paper and paperboards

          1. Development priorities

          In recent years, sophistication, high speed and automation has become the trend of printing technologies. As the main consumables for printing, paper has never stopped advancing in terms of printing performance and new product development; new products have been continuously launched.

          Development direction of cultural printing papers

          The main papers for printing include letterpress paper, newsprint paper, offset paper, coated paper, etc. The newsprint, offset and coated papers have been improving in quality in recent years, while the productions of newsprint and offset paper in the domestic market have exceeded sales; at the same time, the domestic market has begun to pay attention to some new products.

          High-end uncoated woodfree printing paper: Almost all the current uncoated woodfree printing papers are processed using the alkaline papermaking method, in which calcium carbonate fillers are heavily used. These papers have never slowed down the momentum to achieve brighter and whiter performances. The brightness of uncoated woodfree printing papers produced in South America, Brazil, Europe, and Asia has reached 94o ~ 96o, and the whiteness is > 150%. In addition to good printability and high optical performance, such papers also adopt ink jet, laser and xerography printing which all present excellent image quality. The U.S. company International Paper has announced to extend the ColorLokTM patented technology from simply producing hp trademark papers to producing IP trad

          Alternatives to woodfree papers: Alternatives to woodfree papers generally use large quantities of mechanical pulp, supplemented by fillers and light sizing press coat; finished paper can serve as alternative to high-end uncoated paper for traditional uses; mechanical pulp can also increase the bulk of paper, and for sheets of the same thickness, the weight of the paper can be reduced by 10% or so. The brightness of the alternative paper is equivalent to that of uncoated woodfree paper. The alternatives which have been available include Abitibi's AlternativeOffset and EqualOffset offset web papers, and Bowater's BowHybrid printing paper.

          Coated offset paper and metering size LWC paper: This is a high value-added paper, which is made by using metering size press coating and heated soft calendering processes, with high mechanical pulp content; compared with uncoated super-calendered paper, FCO paper has better printability in the heat solid-type offset printing, which is more suitable for gravure printing, generating excellent smoothness and gloss. FCO paper is replacing uncoated SC and LWC papers, especially in advertising as newspaper inserts and cheap magazine papers, where the advantages are more evident.

          Coated offset printing paper: The evolving of heatset offset printing and the increase of postage have driven the market demand for ultra-lightweight coated papers, which is also a challenge to the anti-offset property and opacity of the papers. In response to the growing demand for high-quality image printing, both prepress and printing processes are evolving towards the use of fine screening technology and fine printing technology.

          Promising prospect of digital printing papers: Digital printing, as a new printing mode, is in rapid development. The growth of continuous broad-width inkjet printing and the enhancement of quality, as well as the constant change from single sheet to direct mail advertising and finance media, will bring needs for new paper grades. In order to achieve pre-printing and variable data printing on high-speed printing production lines, all papers must have the high-quality multi-color printing performance which is suitable for both offset printing and digital printing. There is not a paper grade on the market that can meet this demand. It is doomed to be a market segment remains to be developed, and is expected to grow fast.

          ⑵Direction of packaging paper

          Among the four pillars of packaging materials, namely, paper, plastic, metal, and glass, because paper is the cheapest and recyclable, paper products enjoy the fastest growth. The current development trend of China's paper packaging materials is as follows.

          ①Packaging paper, cardboards and paperboards are of higher quality and lighter in weight. In order to make full use of resources and minimize postal and transportation costs, the production of various low-grammage papers, cardboards and cardboard boxes has become the current trend of paper products in the world. China has proposed the issue of low-grammage papers in terms of newsprint, letterpress and offset printing papers, and has started to address such an issue. In the aspect of cardboards and packaging products, high-quality, lightweight and diversity should also be achieved, particularly corrugated paper and linerboards with the largest amount of use. According to the large domestic market demand for high-end packaging boxes, it is necessary to increase 3 low-grammage products on the premises of appropriately improving the quality of existing products; that is, to increase 100g/m2 corrugated paper, 210g/m2 and 200g/m2 kraft boards.

          ②The R & D of cardboards dedicated for food packaging: The existing white board papers are limited in variety, which are not classified for the purpose of differentiating different packaging materials, nor special food packaging boards for different foods. In the future, it is necessary to develop and produce special functional cardboards targeted for packaging different foods.

          ③The R&D of plant fiber disposable lunch boxes: research and develop disposable lunch boxes made of straws, wheat stalk, bagasse, bran fiber shell and other crops, which have superior competitiveness and good economic and social benefits.

          ④The R&D of natural green packaging materials. Through rolling or weaving, natural plant fibers can be made into bags and boxes. After adding a little glue, they can be made into cushioning package of different shapes.

          ⑤The development of straw-based disposable special cardboard for tableware. Based on the raw material resources in our country and by using appropriate technologies, it is possible to ensure that the performances are close to the physical properties of wood pulp, and conduct processing on the cardboard surface suitable for food packaging, to achieve the anti-water, no leakage, non-hierarchical, anti-oil and sealing functions of the finished boards, to replace some paper products and ease the problem of the increasingly scarce pulpwood.

          ⑥The development and application of honeycomb paperboards. The existing products fall into three categories: LSQI composites crates, LSOII full honeycomb cartons, and LSOIII liner packaging boxes. Compared with the weight of corrugated boxes of the same specifications, they can save 60% of cardboards. Such new cartons are expected to become the ideal packaging for exported products.

          ⑦Development and application of molded pulp. Pulp molding is a three-dimensional paper making technology, with waste paper as the raw material, with which paper products of certain shape are produced by a special mold on the molding machine. This type of products is in fast development.

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