Dissolving pulp, produced from pulpwood, is the raw material for viscose. Sweden is one of the larger producers, along with others such as Canada, Brazil and the giants, USA and South Africa. The largest producers in Sweden are Domsjö Fabriker and Södra.
Lars Winter, the CEO of Domsjö, explains that demand on the international market has grown steadily since 2010, which was a bad year for cotton production.
What are the trends for dissolving pulp?
"In recent years, demand has increased by 7 – 8 per cent annually. We also see that our customers are placing more emphasis on sustainable production of the raw material."
Where does the raw material for Domsjö's production come from?
"We use pulpwood from the northern part of Europe. It has long fibres and is easier to process than raw materials with short fibres, such as eucalyptus from Asia."
What challenges is the industry facing?
"The forest industry can contribute to the bio-economy by reducing the use of synthetic materials such as polyester. But that means that we need to increase productivity in our forests. Future development must also look at better cooperation throughout the entire production chain. Today the raw material is shipped back and forth across the globe, which is not sustainable."