Finland’s transport strike extends to April 8 causing P&B producers to slow or shut production

BRUSSELS, March 27, 2024-

The political strikes carried out by Finland’s Automotive and Transport Workers Union (ATK), which began on March 11, have been extended with an end date now of April 8, according to ATK.
Additional next steps are set to be decided next week, according to local media reports. The originally announced end date was March 26.
As a result, a number of paper and board firms have slowed or shut their production sites this week to join others who announced shuts or slowdowns last week, including Metsä Group and UPM.
This week, Stora Enso ramped down graphic paper production at the Anjala mill at its Anjalankoski site in Finland. Folding boxboard production at the site is currently unaffected.
A spokesperson for the firm confirmed that production at Stora Enso’s pulp and containerboard Oulu mill is also currently being ramped down and will be shut completely by Easter.
Last week, the company announced that the strikes were also impacting its operations at the pulp and virgin cartonboard Imatra mill and this week, a spokesperson confirmed that production was being ramped down there as well, with a shutdown also expected by Easter. 
According to Fastmarkets RISI’s Asset Database, the company’s Anjala mill produces 185,000 tonnes/yr of coated and uncoated mechanical paper, while the Oulu mill produces 530,000 tonnes/yr of unbleached softwood pulp and 450,000 tonnes/yr of kraftliner.
Stora Enso’s Imatra mill produces some 1.2 million tonnes/yr of virgin cartonboard on four paper machines and 1.3 million tonnes/yr of wood pulp.
MM Board & Paper’s Kotkamills mill also shut operations as of Tuesday evening due to the strike, a company spokesperson confirmed to Fastmarkets RISI.
According to Fastmarkets RISI’s Asset database, Kotkamills has a total capacity of 585,000 tonnes/yr of paper and board products, largely folding boxboard and food service board.

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