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Thermal Paper: At least five offshore suppliers in US market; Hansol a
Write 한솔제지 Date 2018-07-09

OAKLAND, CA, 20 September 2013 (PPI Pulp & Paper Week) - At least five suppliers from offshore were selling coated thermal POS paper into the US market, and some of the deals were at lower than market prices, contacts said this week. Even so, buyers and sellers said the overriding majority of the 48- and 55-g thermal POS non top coated market pricing was unchanged for September vs August, and is up 14% vs September 2012's levels following a series of increases late last year and early this year.

"Prices held but some small converters were actually in a better position to make spot buys of small quantities of odd sizes" at some lower pricing, one contact said.

"We don't see this so much as the major mills reducing prices but adjusting to compete with a host of sources out of the Pacific Rim and Europe who came in from the start offering prices below the level established by the majors," a contact said.

Some thermal paper converters claimed some pricing was about 2-3% under the market level for POS paper rolls.

New faces on POS block. The main offshore suppliers were Hansol Paper of South Korea, Jujo Thermal from Europe, Mitsubishi H-Tec from Germany, and Spain's Torraspapel, which began supplying BPA-only thermal coated POS and is moving to BPA-free, contacts said. The US market share of these suppliers over five years was an estimated 10%. This year it is expected to be 20%, according to PPI Pulp & Paper Week research.

The increases last year and this year stemmed from the planned and eventual exit of Germany's Koehler Paper from the US market in February-March this year. That exit was caused by a significant rise in import duties charged to Koehler for its lightweight thermal paper (LWT) by the US government.

The US Dept of Commerce (DOC) last year announced preliminary plans for a higher duty by this spring. Appleton Paper, now Appvion, called for the DOC review, claiming that Koehler sold some thermal POS paper through a third party and as a result didn't report pricing information appropriately to the DOC for its investigation.

Koehler's share of the US POS thermal market was about 40% or 100,000 tons/yr.

Hansol acquires Schades. In a related move, Hansol Paper launched itself into the European market against the likes of Koehler, Mitsubishi, and Torraspapel by acquiring converter and distributor Schades, which generated about $115 million last year.

Hansol acquired Schades from private equity fund Capidea and Danebroge ApS, owned by Laurids Jessen. Danebroge acquired Schades in 2009. With Schades, Hansol said its market share in Europe is about 25%.

Along with receipt paper, Schades also makes and sells self-adhesive labels. Its production plants are in Denmark, Germany, France, and the UK.

Hansol is increasing capacity to produce thermal papers on two machines in South Korea. The firm also produces papers for labels and other documentation papers.

"We have for years wanted to develop our position in the European market, as has happened in North America and Asia," Hansol Paper pres/CEO Sanghun Lee said in a release.

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