An economic analysis of pulp, paper and board exports from the Pacific Northwest Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zw12z9391

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  • The objective of this study is to investigate those economic considerations that may limit the ability of the Pacific Northwest's pulp and paper industry to compete with other regions producing pulp, paper and board for world markets. The share of the Pacific Northwest and the United States in world trade of pulp, paper and board, together with products exported and their destinations, are presented first. A review of the literature on demand analyses for paper and board provided a framework for specifying a demand equation. However, more insight into phenomena of substitution threatening export or domestic demand for paper and board was gained by gathering information of increased exports of chips from the Pacific Northwest, greater use of hardwood pulp, recycling of waste paper and the development of synthetic fibers and papers. The extent to which pulp, paper and board products from the Pacific Northwest are differentiated on the basis of the wood species used was also considered. Comparison of the competitive advantage of the Pacific Northwest, Finland, Sweden, the Southern United States and East and West Canada showed that the Pacific Northwest has a competitive advantage -- defined as the difference between the C.I.F. price and total cost (production plus transportation costs) -- in the shipment of kraft linerboard to Japan and, if economies of scale are achieved, to Europe also. The same results would be obtained for bleached kraft pulp and newsprint. Planned investments for the period 1969 to 1974 in several regions of the world were presented to see whether or not this additional information would confirm the results of the comparison of competitive advantage, assuming that investment will be attracted where competitive advantage is the greatest. It appears that in the immediate future the United States will have a lower rate of growth than other regions of the world, and that the Pacific Northwest will attract less investment than the rest of the United States. The discrepancy between the results of the study of competitive advantage and the location of planned investments was explained by the cost differential existing between the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia and the low profitability in the pulp and paper industry due to world excess capacity. This excess capacity was verified by comparing estimates of world consumption and production capacities for all pulp grades from 1971 to 1975, and for kraft linerboard from 1971 to 1973. In order to obtain a better framework for specifying an econometric model, and also to relate its implications to the existing behavior of the industry, a review of marketing practices was undertaken. This showed that the major producers have some ability to control price by reducing production, that product differentiation exists based on brands and that integration is frequent between producer and foreign customers through the purchase of foreign subsidiaries. A quarterly econometric model from 1961 to 1969 was developed explaining prices and exports of kraft linerboard from Sweden and the United States to Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as price and quantities demanded in the US market. This product and these countries were selected because kraft linerboard is the major US pulp, paper and board export commodity and the countries considered are the two largest exporters and the two largest importers of this product in the world. The model was useful from two standpoints: (1) it provided information for planning regional marketing strategies, such as investment planning in the Pacific Northwest, and for determining effects of tariff, cost factors and freight increases on price and quantities traded, and (2) it was able to forecast prices and quantities demanded in the US domestic market and international trade flows. Finally, implications of the study are summarized for the building of econometric models and for pulp and paper export prospects of the Pacific Northwest. Also, some important steps to consider in the planning of marketing strategy are pinpointed.
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