Ringing in the New Year

As we enter the final year of the new millennium's first decade, I'm hoping your holidays were joyous and comfortable and filled with exciting anticipation for a new year. As for me, I took on a self-imposed project — a Christmas cookie cooking binge. I wanted the year to end on a sweet note, and I definitely wanted to wash away any bad taste left in my mouth, mind, and stomach of, let's face it, a pretty unpalatable 2009.

When I asked Bill Hornell of Mesirow Financial several months ago if he would once again provide PFFC's readers with his interpretation of what transpired in the old year and what the new year would bring, I knew his report would cover some pretty distasteful subject matter. You'll find his report on p32. But I was gratified to learn that in comparison to some other industries, the packaging industry — which comprises a sizable chunk of our readership — and allied converting industries actually fared okay. In fact, unlike other industries, packaging in particular trended slightly up by the end of the year.

Echoing Mesirow with similar anticipation include the following researchers as they also look forward to the new year:

  • AWA Alexander Watson Assoc. finds that with nearly 11% of the North American market for extrusion-coated/laminated materials on a weight basis — and 18% on an area basis — flexible packaging is well positioned to grow strongly in the medium to long term (see next month's Coating & Laminating Special Report for full coverage.)

  • The Freedonia Group reported in October that US converted flexible packaging demand will grow 3.4% annually through 2013. In another November nonwovens report, the group predicted demand for nonwoven roll goods is projected to rise at a 3.7% annual rate to $6.3 billion in 2013.

  • BMO Capital Markets' Doug Lawson says: “…the challenging conditions that plagued 2008 and 2009 have begun to improve, and we believe that positive packaging industry fundamentals and the strong rationale for consolidation in the packaging sector will begin to spur a recovery in deal activity in 2010.”

Further reinforcement came from one of PFFC's flexible packaging subscribers who confided that 2009 was a great year for his company largely due to its entering new markets. The coming year looks promising for him.

If this issue's “Recovery Ahead” feature doesn't convince you (with commentaries from many industry associations), check out a free recorded webinar that PFFC hosted live with sponsorship from Fife, featuring guest speakers Bill Hornell; Craig Sheppard, Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators; and Jennifer Dochstader, Tag & Label Mfrs. Inst. and LPC Inc.; at http://pffc-online.com/webinar.

By the way, my family is still finishing off all the cookies! You never know when you might need an emergency antidote to some unsavory 2009 leftovers.

My friends call me… yo

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