During an 18-month period beginning the middle of 2014 through early 2016 crude oil prices fell from $100 to $30 bbl. The same period witnessed a significant investment in fibre and intermediate capacities, particularly in China. Increased capacity occurred when final demand for fibre products waned in nearly all markets.
At the same time global trade was facilitated by most governments and logistical costs declined increasing competition for regional fibre producers from producers outside the region whom were suffering the impact of overcapacity. Labour was readily available and its costs were generally steady. All these factors created a deflationary environment for costs and prices throughout the period for fibre producers.
In the last two years it seems all these previous market forces have reversed and fibre producers are facing a return to inflation. How will this new reality impact fibre markets? What markets will be winners in the short term?
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