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Just as in 2020, paper mills continued to produce at full steam in the first quarter of this year, maximizing their capacity utilization.

Looking at some of the highlights on the market landscape, Vareka opened its production line at the Balikesir paper mill in the final quarter of 2020. And by the second half of 2021, Kipas is planning to activate its fluting and liner production facility at Soke.

Going forward, some of those paper mills that have been working at full capacity are on the verge of expansion investments. For example, Aktul Tissue Paper has signed an agreement with Valmet for an extra 70,000 tonnes of production capacity; the Halkali Paper Mill(Bilecik) has acquired new land to increase its capacity by 500,000 tonnes and is now in the process of selecting machinery and equipment; and Modern Karton has announced the construction of a new facility at Zonguldak with 550,000 tonnes of annual capacity. Meanwhile, Hamburger has continued its investment at Kutahya and Kipas is building a new tissue machine at its Kahramanmaras facility.

Paper mills have continued to operate without stock this year, just as in 2020. With recovered paper usage expected to be around 5 million tonnes this year, domestic collections are forecast to increase by 10-15% to 3.5 million tonnes, with imports making up the deficit of approximately 1.5 million tonnes. The higher demand is continuing to push up prices given the regulation passed on September 3 2020 which limits the recovered paper import share to a maximum of 50% of total production.