Pulp and paper industry in Romania
Annual statistics for the European pulp and paper industry, published by the European association representing the paper industry (Cepi), show that like other sectors, in 2021 pulp and paper showed signs of a strong post-Covid recovery, as paper and board consumption increased by 5,8%, outperforming the overall rebound of the euro area GDP. As a result of these positive trends, paper and board production also increased, by 6,1%. The industry’s operating rate, the capacity at which paper mills are operated, has reached 90% over the year, compared to 85% in 2020. Positive trends are also recorded for the first quarter of 2022, with the sector surpassing in the first quarter of 2022 its 2021 first quarter production levels.
The growth was driven by a renewed demand both on domestic markets and globally. Exports exceeded the levels achieved in 2019, registering a strong growth in sales to North and South American markets. Currently, 22% of paper production from Cepi members is exported.
The crisis of the coronavirus pandemic also accelerated certain trends, observed over the past decade. The rise of e-commerce boosted paper and board packaging market, while it benefited from the substitution of other solutions, often triggered by the EU Single Use Plastics Directive. The production of packaging grades reached an all-time high in 2021, increasing by 7,5% compared to 2020. The most impressive growth was registered for the production of wrapping grades, used for paper bag production, which increased by 11,6%. It benefitted from the EU-backed phase-out of plastic packaging. Another Covid-related effect on paper markets has been the development of the hygiene market segments. Demand for paper for sanitary uses has seen a correction effect, with the peak of the pandemic now behind us, and it should benefit from higher hygiene requirements over the long term, states Cepi. Graphic paper markets have, after a very negative impact in 2020, bounced back in 2021.
Cepi figures also show that, after significant investments by the sector, the recycling of paper is increasingly performed in Europe, surpassing 50 million tonnes in 2021 for the first time, while exports of paper for recycling decreased by 18% compared to 2020.
The paper manufacturing market in Romania is characterized by the presence of diverse international and regional manufacturers. However, as international players have already established their footprint in the market, regional manufacturers are finding it difficult to compete with them, especially on the basis of product quality, technology, and pricing. The competitive environment in this market will intensify with an increase in product/service extensions, technological innovations, and mergers and acquisitions. Romania Exports of paper and paperboard, articles of pulp, paper and board was USD 567,9 million during 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. Key manufacturers in this market are Ceprohart, Aggressione Group, Dunapack Rambox, Tiger Somes Impex and 7LastMuse.
Ceprohart SA is an enterprise based in Romania. Its main office is in Braila. The company was established on August 1, 1991. It currently has a total number of 54 (2021) employees. The latest financial highlights indicate a net sales revenue increase of 6,67% in 2021. Its total assets recorded a negative growth of 2,97%. It offers security papers, filter papers, and oil and grease resistant papers; and filter papers, electrical insulating papers, special papers, and cardboards for use in copying and printing, as well as filter plates for food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
Aggressione Group is a fully Romanian company with private capital, founded in 1992. In the beginning Aggressione was selling copier paper. Over time, it has adapted its offer to the market requirements and, in addition to office products, it has also developed a wide range of printing paper and board. The company has 115 employees, 10 regional offices, 60 vehicles of various capacities and a storage area of over 14 000 sqm, the largest in the industry in Romania.
Aggressione Group has long-lasting partnerships with the world’s largest paper and board manufacturers as well as with independent European suppliers. Its range of brands includes Absolut Paper, Traffic Copy, Zero, Speedy, Optimo, NordBoard, NaturaBoard, the A-Paper series.
The company has big plans going forward: developing the current range of products, consolidating the position of market leader and territorial expansion in other European countries, but above all keeping the same flexibility that has characterized it since the beginning. In March 2012 Agressione Bulgaria was established, which is based in Sofia, as the first step of the company’s regional development. Starting from the spring of 2013, Aggressione Group is also present on the Hungarian market.
Dunapack Rambox is the Romanian subsidiary of Austria-based Dunapack Packaging, a unit of Prinzhorn Holding. Established in February 1995, Dunapack Rambox develops 100% recyclable packaging products including corrugated cardboard packaging, displays and promotional packaging, and packaging for bulky industrial items. The company manufactures three and five layer corrugated boards and boxes for the food and drinks industry, as well as FMCG, automotive, and pharmaceuticals, among other industries. It also provides technical consultancy and design services for corrugated cardboard packaging, as well as recovery and recycling of paper waste.
Dunapack Rambox’s first facility in Romania was developed in Sfantu Gheorghe, Covasna County, with an investment of USD 15 million. It manufactures corrugated and micro-corrugated cardboard packaging products.
With a workforce of 200, the company produces nearly 90 million square feet of corrugated cardboard annually. The packaging products are supplied to Dunapack Rambox’s customers in Romania and rest of the world.
In October 2018 the company started construction on its new packaging plant, located 20km west of Bucharest. It develops corrugated boxes, bulk packaging, retail and e-commerce containers, and multi-colour options. The facility has been developed with an investment of EUR 45 million (USD 55 million) and employs 150 people.
Dunapack Rambox’s manufacturing process includes preparation of starch glue, production of corrugated cardboard, and making of boxes from the corrugated cardboard. The process uses core paper, intermediate linerboard, and top linerboard obtained from specific factories. The corrugated cardboard packaging products are produced at a dedicated corrugated cardboard confection area. Printing is carried out before gluing or punching of the cardboard by incorporating flexography, which provides better stability than corrugated cardboards and reduces dust produced during printing. Water-based inks needed for a variety of packaging designs are prepared at Dunapack Rambox’s own station.
Tiger Somes Impex
Tiger Somes Impex S.A. started in 1992, with Romanian-Italian capital. It specializes in the production and printing of polyethylene coated paper. The company’s annual sales amount to EUR 8 million and it produces 7800 tons of polyethylene coated paper per year. 25% of it is marketed on the local market and 75% is delivered to European markets, mainly to Italy and France, but also to Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Poland and Denmark. All the raw materials Tiger Somes Impex uses have the appropriate sanitary and security certification: the base paper has received the sanitary certification from the ISEGA German Institute and the polyethylene is ISO certified by the suppliers (Kazan Russia, Slovnaft Slovakia).
7LastMuse is a manufacturer of gift paper bags, custom or serial, cards, product catalogues and brochures, decorative paper bags and other paper based products. The company was launched in 2011 aiming to design and manufacture products giving high level of customer satisfaction.
7LastMuse already holds three consolidated brands: Sistelse, Colorup and Lightbag, which starting from the second year of activity were presented at the Paper World Exhibition in Frankfurt. Since then, the company has taken part in fairs like GiftsShow and Gaudeamus (national exhibitions) and Ambiente and Paperworld (international exhibitions). Recently, 7LastMuse became a member of the PSI (Promotional Service Institute).
LATEST issue 3/2023