Ahead of PRIMA 2019, we spoke with confirmed speaker, Natasha Valeeva, Analyst - Food And Agribusiness Supply Chains at Rabobank, to get a sneak peek of what her presentation will cover at this year's conference.
The strapline for PRIMA in this, its 50th year, is 'chaos creates opportunity'. How would you summarise the main opportunities, and challenges, for the pulp/paper/paperboard sectors?
Changes in China’s recovered paper (RCP) policies is definitely an example of when chaos creates opportunities. For China, these polocy changes have disrupted the country's corrugated packaging growth. At the same time, these disruptions create more demand opportunities for domestic RCP and incentivise chain actors to ramp up domestic recycling in China.
For the main RCP exporters like the US and Europe, China’s move towards zero RCP imports will likely force additional RCP export tonnage to stay local. With limited growth opportunities in new export markets, substantial investments in innovative ‘quality’ recycling infrastructure remains a necessary step across the US and Europe. In this way, chaos stimulates a search for ‘home-based’, more sustainable recycling solutions across the globe.
What key issues are you hoping to see discussed across the two days of the conference?
I would really like to see more coverage of paper related industries, having different but also similar challenges and opportunities. I expect supply & demand challenges, sustainability and innovation to be key ‘cross-industry’ topics to be discussed during the conference. Rethinking recycling is another important issue to be addressed in light of the above topics. Furthermore, collaboration and partnerships across the supply chain will remain crucial for finding joint solutions, especially when we are talking about the packaging segment. I hope to see some new examples of such partnerships.
Can you provide a brief summary of what you plan to speak about at PRIMA 2019?
Recent changes in China’s recovered paper (RCP) policy have already disrupted the country's corrugated packaging growth and global RCP and packaging markets. A potential import ban for all RCP by the end of 2020 could trigger a new round of disruptions. My presentation will address the impact of these policies on China’s domestic and global paper packaging industry. I will especially focus on how market players along the supply chain, both in China and globally, adopt their strategies in these changing market conditions. What are challenges, opportunities and potential solutions?
What are you most looking forward to regarding attending the 50th edition of PRIMA in Prague?
This year will be my first time speaking at PRIMA. I really like the agenda and line-up of industry speakers, covering the whole paper supply chain. I’m most looking forward to great networking opportunities and finding ways to jointly contribute to solving global paper sector challenges.