Like Dust in the Wind
Sometimes, as the wheel in the sky keeps on turning, it spits out some good news, too. Like if you’re a farmer in India or China and you learn that Russia’s Uralkali is pulling out of the potash cartel and increasing output to normal levels. You know that the cost of a key fertilizer will be coming down, and you might be able to increase production or realize more margin.
Similarly, a story in The Wall Street Journal today explains how Brazilian pulp producers are planning $10 billion of investment in new capacity to bolster their position in the industry. Of course Brazil has cost advantages such as its fertile land and fast-growing eucalyptus trees that take only six years to harvest, but many pulp competitors must be shaking their heads right now. Brazilian firms are making a bet that China’s economy will, over time, convert from an export-based model to one predicated on middle-class consumption. They’re placing their bets in advance, and for us printers, we can thank them for helping to keep down a major input cost of paper over the next few years.
Each week, like that feather, we’re swept around by factors well beyond our control. While there are certain steps we can take to hedge our bets or mitigate our risks, we remain an industry susceptible to many threats from all sides. If things get too good or too bad, others can enter or we can exit. All the while, our industry is truly like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get.
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC