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Wednesday, 10 October, 2018 - 12:00

Day 1: The Future of the Wood Products Market


Registration and Light Lunch


Dan Blenk

Vice President Wood & Timber Economic Analysis


Welcome Remarks




Panel Discussion: A Reflection of the Past Year and the Future of the Wood Products Market

  • Are the previous distribution bottles necks a short term hiccup or should we be concerned about the long term lack of labor capacity?
  • Could unprecedented lumber prices and producers sitting on inventory cause a ‘run on lumber’?
  • Given the consolidation in other forestry product industries, will we see consolidation and M&A in the lumber and wood products sector?

Wood Products End Use Markets: Housing and Related End Use Markets Continue to Drive Demand Growth

An in-depth look at the major non-housing end-use markets for wood products including RISI's two year outlook. Markets covered include: Residential Repair and Remodeling, Non-Residential Construction, Industrial Production and Furniture Production, with a brief overview of our housing outlook.


RISI Outlook for Lumber

While demand for North American softwood lumber continues to be fueled by solid growth in US residential construction and R&R, numerous supply-side challenges including transportation delays, trade disputes, fiber availability and tight labor markets have made it particularly challenging for shipments to keep pace. The combination of factors contributed to especially tight market conditions in early 2018, sending softwood lumber prices surging to record highs in many cases. In this presentation, we will examine the sequence of events that has lead to the challenging market environment in North America, along with RISI’s demand outlook over the next two years and an overview of how capacity developments will likely unfold. 


Networking Coffee & Tea Break

Sponsored by: 


RISI Outlook: Structural Panels


This presentation will outline our outlook for supply, demand, costs, and profitability in the North American structural panel market. It will include a discussion of: 

- OSB capacity in 2018 and the potential for further future mill expansions/restarts

- Offshore imports and how they will impact the structural panels market, particularly plywood

- OSB profitability improvement in 2018 and prospects for 2019. 


RISI Outlook: Particleboard & Engineered Wood Products

An overview of the North American particleboard, MDF, LVL and wood I-joist markets including discussion of:

  • The effects of new mills opening
  • Demand forecasts by end use markets
  • Product production costs and profitability

CEO Fireside Chat followed by an opportunity for questions and answers


Cocktail Reception & Registration


Close of Day One

Thursday, 11 October, 2018 - 07:30

Day 2: Cost & Supply Chain Challenges for Pulp, Paper & Beyond




Welcome Remarks


Presentation of the RISI North American CEO of the Year Award

Presented to Steve Voorhees, CEO of WestRock


CEO Winner Presentation & Fireside Chat

The presentation will discuss WestRock's growth patterns and M&A activity, and e-commerce growth and expectations in the corrugated business. 




Mapping the Use of Forestry Products, Pulp and Paper: Who are the Consumers of North American Forestry Products across the Globe? What is the future of demand from Asia, Latin America and Africa?

  • A look at capacity vs. consumption, how is it going to change over the coming months?
  • What impact will the search for alternative fibers have on pricing trends?
  • Understanding the trade flows, where are hotspots of consumption and how are they going to change?
  • Looking ahead, can we forecast what are going to be the impact of the European capacity increases on the North American market?

Networking Coffee & Tea Break

Sponsored by: 


RISI Macroeconomic Outlook

A global macroeconomic outlook assessing where we are in the economic cycle? What do the next 12-18 months hold?


StepChange Consulting Survey Drawing


RISI Outlook: Housing Forecast for the USA

Housing demand fundamentals are healthy, but the US housing market continues to underperform. This presentation will review recent developments in the US shelter market, including demand (demographics and household formations), supply (impediments and vacancy rates), pricing (home prices and rent), and market conditions (credit availability). The outlook will include a forecast for shelter production based on the shelter fundamentals and RISI's outlook for the US economy and then break this forecast of shelter production into single-family and multifamily housing starts.




David White

Senior Director of Transportation and Logistics


Panel Discussion: Trucking, Shipping and Trade: Challenges in the Wood Distribution Market

  • US vs. China. An update and an assessment of the short and long term impact?
  • Canadian Lumber vs. US: Export duties and the challenges of trucking
  • Truck rates are up. Will the tight supply loosen? What alternatives are there?
  • Labor availability: Will the incentives impact the labor capacity for construction?

Networking Lunch



Bob Flynn

Director, International Timber


RISI International Timber Outlook

  • Agroforestry: While primarily a sector attracting only “impact investing” firms today, agroforestry and silvopastoral practices may offer benefits for main-line TIMOs and pension fund investors as well, in some situations.
  • International Log Markets: How have the “trade wars” impacted US exports of softwood and hardwood logs, from both the Pacfic Northwest and US South? How is Russia’s role in this market changing?
  • International Woodchip Markets: Record volumes being set in the Asian markets yet again in 2018, but a supply crisis is looming. News from RISI’s 10th International Woodfiber Conference in Durban.



North American Timber Outlook

Timber markets are out of equilibrium.  This includes unusually large price spreads for wood fiber that have developed internationally and within local markets. Meanwhile, trade wars, reduced timber supplies in BC, and other supply side disruptions all continue to upset markets from finding an equilibrium. The notion of ‘disequilibrium’ presents an opportunity for some stakeholder and a challenge for others. This presentation identifies some of the imbalances that have developed in the North American wood fiber markets, changes in regional competitiveness, and a two-year outlook for timber prices in North America.



Bryan Smith

Deputy Editor, Global Pulp, PPI Pulp & Paper Week



Chip Dillon

Wall Street Analyst

Vertical Research Partners

Ketan Mamtora

Vice President, Equity Research, Packaging & Forest Products

BMO Capital Markets

Panel Discussion on Cost Margins: Mitigating the impact of current cost fluctuations and preparing for future ones

  • A look at incremental margins: wages, transportation and currency fluctuations
  • Raw material prices have surged. What is coming next? Have they reached their peak?
  • How suppliers can accommodate a more strategic, market conscientious customer?

Networking Coffee & Tea Break

Sponsored by: 


RISI Outlook on the Global Pulp Market

Shocks on both the demand and supply side of the global fiber industry have combined to create extraordinarily tight market conditions. The entire pulp and paper industry is still adjusting to the reverberations emanating from the strict environmental policies recently imposed in China and bracing for potentially more stringent policies in the near future. Meanwhile, supply side disruptions have become the norm, keeping the market exceedingly tight and creating additional uncertainty. This presentation will discuss current conditions in the global fiber market including the far-reaching impacts of the environmental policies enacted in China, the continued cycle of supply side disruptions and the implications for our near-term outlook.



Hamir Patel

Director, Paper & Forest Products

CIBC Capital Markets, Equity Research


Ken Shields

Chairman, President and CEO

Conifex Timber Inc.

Mike Grimm

President and CEO

American Eagle Paper Mills

Jim Morgan

President, North America Packaging and Paper Division, United States

DS Smith

CEO/Executive Panel: A Reflection on 2018, A Look at 2019 and A Consideration of the Future Global Market

Sponsored by: 


  • Consolidation: Why is bigger better? How is it going impact the management of supply and demand?
  • What questions do the NAFTA negotiations and tariffs pose for business?
  • How is the raw material price surge impacting the market? How can business mitigate the negative impacts?
  • The impact of alternative fibres. How can producers continue to innovate? Has it become a necessity to remain competitive?

Cocktail Reception


Close of Day Two

Friday, 12 October, 2018 - 08:15

Day 3: Sustainability of Trade, Packaging and Graphic Paper




RISI Outlook for Containerboard & Boxboard

  • How long will the renaissance in paper packaging demand continue?
  • Will shifts in the North American trade balance alter the demand/supply balance?
  • When will supply catch up to demand?

Columbia Pulp and Non-Wood Fiber Market



Jim McLaren

Senior Editor, PPI Pulp & Paper Week



Abelia Sloey

Senior Procurement Manager, Global Packaging


Jim Morgan

President, North America Packaging and Paper Division, United States

DS Smith

Panel Discussion: Packaging, Recycling & Sustainability

  • What is the appetite for CPGs to hedge pulp and paper pricing? Is the growth rate of the market too optimistic?
  • What are the impacts of currency fluctuations for the containerboard market and how can they can be mitigated?
  • How can you find opportunity in a low volume, high mix packaging solution plan across many regionals globally?
  • Are CPGs looking to redefine a material portfolio to diversify when market volatility is risky with highly common materials?
  • What are the sustainable material substitutes for mitigating raw material variables in cost?
  • The Impact of the Convertors. What will be the Immediate Disruption and the Long Term Impact? Will there be one?

Networking Coffee & Tea Break

Sponsored by: 


RISI Outlook for Graphic Paper

  • How low can the global newsprint market go?  Is there a point where demand will stabilize?
  • Global printing and writing demand is stabilizing and even growing again some developing markets.  Is this a temporary reprieve or a long term trend that results from the declining importance of Europe and North America in global markets?
  • Supply trends in key regional markets:  Will Asia stop building new capacity?  Will low cost Latin American producers take advantage of their competitiveness and build new capacity?  What about Russia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe?
  • Will regional disparities in operating rates and market tightness continue?
  • Can a profit be made in a declining market? 
  • Mill cost inflation has returned with a vengeance after years of decline, with particular blame going to pulp and transportation.  Will cost pressures subside and how does this impact different mills?
  • How will rising mill costs, tight markets, tariffs, and regional disparities in pricing affect prices and profitability around the world?   


Chris Cook

Deputy Editor, PPI Pulp & Paper Week



Panel Discussion: Trade Exposure and Trade Cases - The Impact for Graphic Paper in a Fast-Changing Global Scene

Tariffs and trade flows have become major issues for North American graphic paper, with the US taking action on duties for nearly every grade of graphic paper over the past few years.  These duties have had varying impacts on their respective paper markets, with a particularly profound impact for the duties on Canadian exports to the USA. This presentation will also examine the outlook for further major shifts in trade affecting the North American market and the market’s potential exposure to further impacts from duties in the context of global pulp and paper market.


Networking Lunch


RISI Fluff Pulp Outlook

  • Overview of the global fluff pulp market and industry trends
  • Key demand drivers: demographics, usage rates, and growth in per capita income
  • Overview of fluff consumption rates and potential sources of new supply

RISI Tissue Market Outlook


  • Global tissue consumption continues its strong growth
  • Emerging markets getting increasingly important
  • Good growth attracting investors and resulting to overcapacity
  • North America in a very competitive phase – battle between brands and private labels
  • A clear trend to the highest qualities in North America
  • Latin America improving, Brazil recovering
  • Growth in Europe slowing, investment concentrating in the south and east
  • Asian growth dominated by China but also several other markets show major growth
  • Escalating market pulp prices causing economic pressure

Outlook for North American Bioenergy

This presentation will review current market conditions, as well as RISI’s two-year outlook for the following markets in North America: domestic pellets, biomass power and industrial export pellets. Relevant global updates will also be included. 


Closing Remarks


Close of Conference

Want to speak at the conference?

We are still looking to add the best minds in the industry to the upcoming conference, so contact us if you are interested in presenting. 

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