Country Report

“The West” – One segment of the world’s largest T&T producing country

Select a figure to view: Figure 1
Distribution of T&T production in the USA
Figure 2
Distribution of T&T paper machines in the USA.
Figure 3
Distribution of T&T paper machine trims in the USA.
Figure 4
Technical Age versus production area comparison of T&T paper machines.
Figure 5
Fibre mix comparison for USA producing areas.
Figure 6
USA mill level cost curve for T&T production with Western mills highlighted.
Figure 7
Distribution of USA West T&T paper machines by production rate.
Figure 8
Distribution of USA West T&T paper machines by trim class.
Figure 9
Distribution of USA West T&T paper machines by speed class.
Figure 10
Dispersion of USA T&T paper machines against worldwide average production and age.
Figure 11
Distribution of USA West T&T paper machines by company country location.
Map 1
T&T mill locations in the USA.
Map 2
T&T Paper mill locations in Western USA.

The United States of America (USA) is the largest producer of Towel and Tissue (T&T) in the world making in excess of 7.5m metric tonnes per year. This is approximately three times the next largest producing country China. On a per capita basis, the two largest producing countries are dramatically different. China has a per capita production rate of approximately 0.002MT while in the United States it is 10 times higher at approximately 0.024 MTY. T&T production in the USA is dispersed in four areas within the country. The heaviest concentration is in the southeast at ~2.6m MT followed by the midwest at 2.2 million, the northeast at 1.4m, and the west at 1.3m (Map 1). The western area of the USA is very diverse in topography and climate. The vast Rocky Mountain range dominates a large portion of the geography but the area also has major desert areas, rich valleys and lengthy coastline on the Pacific Ocean. Papermaking in general and T&T mills specifically are dispersed throughout the area locating adjacent to wood, energy supplies and population centers (Map 2).

USA – west ranks fourth in USA T&T producing areas (Figure 1). The west also has the least number of operating machines, significantly trailing the other three areas (Figure 2). T&T machines in USA vary from narrow two metre machines to the widest eight metre class. The west has machines that cover the full range with the average being in the 4.3 range (Figure 3). Average machine production is greater in the west while average Tech Age is consistent with the northeast and midwest at 30-35years (Figure 4). Fibre mix in the USA is heavily weighted to Kraft (both integrated and market), and recycled.

Despite large population centers for source material, the west is the least dependent USA area for the use of recycled fibre, averaging ~15% (Figure 5). Cost of production for mills in the west is comparable to other areas in the USA with the higher cost mills utilizing market pulp and the lower cost being partially or fully integrated (Figure 6).

USA west machine production rates tend to be robust with more than half of the machines 40,000MT/Yr and above (Figure 7). Machine trims could explain the robust rates. Over 75% of the USA west machines are in the five metre and above class (Figure 8). Machine speeds are also on the high side with 70% of the machines over 1,200mpm (Figure 9). On an international scale the USA west machines tend to have above average capacity with a cluster of machines also having above average Technical Ages (Figure 10). Company ownership is almost entirely local with only 8% of the mills being owned by companies not headquartered in the USA (Figure 11).

Data Tables behind Figures 1 – 11 can be obtained from Fisher International. E-mail requests to [email protected].

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