Surface & Panel Q4 2017 - Page 58

� CONTINUED FROM PAGE 56 strong that they could supply the entire western world? No, definitely not! First of all, they don’t have the capacity to support the entire world market. Yes, the quality in China has improved, but still we see a gap in terms of European quality expectations for most of our customers. At the moment, they pay more for titanium dioxide than we do in Europe. Global market prices for pulp also apply, and transport costs from China to Europe need to be factored in. Even the share of fixed costs is becoming similar to that in Europe. Wages and environmental costs are increasing with the growth in prosperity. So we don’t see a large threat from China. Dr. Krull:  But surely, competition from China needs to be taken seriously. Dr. Krull:  The decor paper market in Europe is seeing moderate to good growth rates. Markets in Asia have seen significantly higher growth. Within Europe, there are considerable differences between the various regions. While Eastern Europe has developed very well, some countries in Southern Europe have experienced considerable setbacks. Spain has probably overcome the worst, while the market in Italy continues to be difficult. Europe has been a strong exporter in recent years. Q. With your global knowledge, how do you evaluate the market in the Americas? Dr. Krull:  South America has bounced back from a bad situation and is once again seeing positive growth. North America has always been a very moderate growth market for decor papers, which completely collapsed during the financial crisis and have been recovering steadily ever since. With an estimated decor paper demand of 94,000 tons in 2015-2016 for North and South America combined, we saw a negative market volume development of 1.5 percent, including a decrease of 2.5 percent in the USA. This negative trend in the North American market is mainly the result of significant increases of imports of impregnated film from Europe, mainly driven by the advantage of currency exchange rates. Mix:  For more than 20 years, decor paper manufacturers have been waiting for good growth rates in North America. Although North America is similar in population to Europe, the demand for raw decor papers in North America is only one-tenth of the demand in Europe. European companies that have exported melamine films to North America, as well as European wood- based panel producers, are currently planning to invest in this region. This means that we can expect a new boost for a positive market de [Y[]Hۙ\ܛ]B[[[ܙX\HوHY\X[X[܈X܈\\ˈ[Y][ۋH[\][ۈ]\ܛۈ\]ZXH\[ܙX\[B]\Z[[H\[[[\X\] H][\™[\][ۈ\[\Hۜ\]]H[][YH\]\KKU]\[\][X][ۈوHؘ[[\HX\]ž[HYHHX]H[\H\\X\“Z^ \YۈH\[و\X\][[\\HX\]^H\]X]H[YH][\H\وH\\\Y\ˈ\YX[]^H[وHݙ\[X܈\\X[ۈܛYHY\H[K\HH[\HN\XX[[[ BZ^ VY\H[YYXۛYH][HXZ\˜[[\ܝ[۝X][ۈHݙ\[\HوX܈\\ܛYK[Hۙ\KHYH[H[ܙH\[[\ܝ\قX܈\\ˈ[]\H[[Y]H\ˈH[&]^H^XB[][\[]x&[H\H]]\X[X\ZB\[۝[YHZ\ܛ[[\X\] H[X[[[H\\Y ]H[ HܛYH[X[܈X܈\\\ܛ[][[X[]Hو]Y[ ˜[ H\[܈[ݙ\[[X[و KZ[[ۈۜˈ]8&\™\]Z][[[[ܙX\Hو\[ L ۜ\YX\Xܜ\ۙH[X[\X]HوۙH]\\XX[KKR\ZKS][ڰۜY\[][\HX[ۂX[]H[[O“Z^ ]HX[[\܈^H[[[ HY[[ۙY]B\HۛH^X[[\]Hܛ[]\KXH[ӕSQQӈQH ;