Elliott Baxter (EBB) has moved to secure future supply of woodfree coated papers through a new partnership with Sappi.
EBB currently sells coated papers from Sappi, Burgo and Lecta, but from January 2019 the firm will focus exclusively on Sappi’s GalerieArt range.
The merchant described it as a “unique partnership” and said that, with a number of European mills currently under threat of closure or conversion to other products such as packaging board, it had been “very important to secure long-term sustainable supply”.
“We are already the biggest supplier of coated sheets in the UK and we will be in an even stronger position because of this,” said Kevin Smith, sales and marketing manager at EBB.
“There’s so much uncertainty in the market about the future for some of the other grades. Through this partnership with Sappi we’re future-proofing ourselves and our customers. Surety and availability of supply in the short- to mid-term are of paramount importance to EBB and our clients.”
The arrangement encompasses GalerieArt Gloss, Matt and Satin in sheets and CutStar reels and EBB will increase its stock levels and stock range as a result.
Smith said the firm would duplicate the overall range that had been available previously through three manufacturers.
GalerieArt is mainly manufactured at Sappi’s Gratkorn Mill in Austria, which produces just under one million tonnes of double- and triple-coated paper a year.
Sappi describes Gratkorn as housing one of the largest, state-of-the-art paper production lines in the world. It is the biggest woodfree coated paper mill in Europe.
The industry is currently awaiting the outcome of Stora Enso’s feasibility study that could result in more than one million tonnes of European coated woodfree paper capacity at its Oulu Mill in Finland being converted to packaging board.
Separately, EBB has also become an approved stockist of Polyart synthetic papers manufactured by Arjobex. The range being stocked includes litho, toner, and HP Indigo variants.