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Paper Industry Forecasts Difficult Year, But Brights Spots on the Horizon

Monday, March 11, 2002

Press release from the issuing company

SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2002 - More than 40 percent of paper industry professionals worldwide believe 2002 will be a poor year, while 38 percent say it will be a better year overall and 18 percent see improvement starting in the second half. These are a few predictions from the 2002 Outlook Survey conducted by Paperloop's Internet division and PPI (Pulp & Paper International) magazine. The results of the detailed survey of forest products industry analysts, executives and consultants regarding the outlook for the year 2002 are now available from Paperloop, the leading multimedia information and e-business network for the paper, forestry and converting industries. Other intriguing and more positive findings of the survey were: - 58 percent of respondents say they are more optimistic than pessimistic - 66 percent believe producers will behave more responsibly this year - Asia holds the most promise for the future, and China has the best rating with 17 percent saying it will improve rapidly - 75 percent think mergers and acquisitions will increase in 2002 There were also a number of predictions that could be very valuable for strategic planning. These findings dealt with pricing of specific grades of paper, downtime, forecasts for how specific grades of paper will perform, outlook for various sectors, regional predictions on performance, and the biggest hurdles facing the industry. The annual survey was completed in late 2001, and attracted a record number of responses. The survey's 20 questions addressed nearly every aspect of the global forest products industry with emphasis on supply/demand issues, company strategies and the economic outlook for 2002. Responses were received from around the world and include end users of paper and board, converters, chemical manufacturers, printers, merchants/brokers, equipment/machinery manufacturers, fiber suppliers, paper and board producers, and service providers. These findings are consistent with the Paperloop Forecast that was presented in January at Paper Week International/EXFOR 2002 in Montreal. Editors from Paperloop's worldwide publications and RISI forecast division also helped compile this survey. "While they aren't the most optimistic results, this report should be extremely valuable to professionals in the paper, printing, converting and related industries because it reflects the status of their peers' business and what they're thinking about the state of the industry," said Rhiannon James, Director of Online News and Information at Paperloop.




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