Near-term outlook

               

Demand for paperboards is expected to remain good in the company’s main market areas in Europe and the North America. Paperboard order books are at a high level.  

Metsä Board’s paperboard delivery volumes in October–December are expected to decline from the delivery volumes in July–September. The decline is due to the annual maintenance shutdowns at the end of the year, low inventory levels, and possibly seasonally slower December. The delivery volumes of market pulp, on the other hand, are expected to increase slightly. 

The average prices of folding boxboard and white kraftliners are expected to increase in October–December compared to the average prices in July–September.

Demand for softwood pulp is expected to remain good in Europe. Energy restrictions and carbon emission cuts initiated by the Chinese government will create uncertainty in the operating rates of paper and paperboard machines and thus in the consumption of market pulp for the rest of the year. 

More planned annual maintenance shutdowns are set to take place in October–December compared to July–September.  

Cost inflation is expected to continue. In particular, the prices of chemicals and energy will continue to rise. Metsä Board estimates the full-year cost inflation in 2021 to be at least 4% compared to 2020. 

Exchange rate fluctuations in October–December 2021, including hedges, will have a slightly negative impact on the operating result compared to July–September 2021, and a clearly negative impact on the operating result compared to October–December 2020.

In the fourth quarter, Metsä Board expects to recognise insurance claims attributable to the production losses caused by the fire at Husum.



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