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Papermakers look to ride Asian shipping boom

Japan's Oji and China's Nine Dragons invest in new capacity

Japan's Oji Holdings is expanding cardboard box factories in Malaysia in response to the region's growing shipping demand.

TOKYO -- As the rise of e-commerce and economic expansion in emerging markets fuels surging demand for shipping boxes, papermakers in Japan, China and elsewhere are shifting gears to focus on the industry's new growth driver.

The paper market is undergoing a structural shift as digitization erodes demand for printer paper and newsprint, once industry mainstays. Analysts at Japan's Mizuho Bank and elsewhere forecast global demand for these materials falling to 105.69 million tons in 2022, down 14% from 2016 levels.

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