Gypsum industry news
US: USG has released Sheetrock Brand EcoSmart Panels, a lightweight gypsum wallboard panel with sustainable credentials. The panel is based on USG's UltraLight Panels and USG's Corporate Innovation Centre developed new gypsum core chemistries and a manufacturing process to reduce 20% of carbon dioxide emissions and decrease water usage by 25%. It is being released in the US in two core formulations for fire and non-fire-rated applications.
The product was developed in response to the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products in July 2016. It may also contribute to achieving additional US Green Building Council (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED v4.0 credits and meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
"There has been a significant movement in the architecture community to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector," said Edward Mazria, chief executive officer and founder of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. "Yet, to fully achieve our goal for the building sector to become carbon-neutral by 2050, manufacturers like USG must quickly rise to the occasion and develop sustainable, low-carbon and zero-carbon building materials."
Canada: Residents rebuilding their homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta will be compensated for duties liable on gypsum wallboard imported from the US. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement, according to the Canadian Press. A source quoted by the agency said that it is part of the government's response to a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that lobbied it to cut duties imposed on wallboard products being imported into Western Canada from the US. The CITT ruled that gypsum wallboard imports from the US had 'hurt' the local industry in January 2017 but, in a separate ruling, it also recognised that competition had been 'substantially' reduced in Western Canada.
Thomas J Plath appointed Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Global Citizenship at International Paper27 February 2017
US: Thomas J Plath has been elected by the board of directors of International Paper to become Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Global Citizenship, from effect from 1 March 2017. Plath joined International Paper in 1991, serving most recently as Vice President, Human Resources, Global Businesses.
The company also announced the retirement of Thomas G Kadien, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Government Relations and Global Citizenship. Kadien joined the company in 1978 and will retire effective 30 June 2017.
US: USG is celebrating the centennial anniversary of its Sheetrock brand, developed as the world's first wallboard panel in 1917. To observe the anniversary USG is hosting celebrations across North America with its employees, dealers and customers. Limited quantities of commemorative products celebrating the anniversary will also be shared with customers and dealers.
"From the first simple wallboard panel developed 100 years ago to the breadth of high-performing panels available today, USG has led the industry in innovation," said Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of USG Corporation. "We are thrilled to celebrate a century of excellence and product leadership. We are proud that USG's Sheetrock brand is one of the world's most recognised brands."
US: USG's net sales have risen by 3.5% year-on-year to US$3.02bn in 2016 from US$2.91bn in the same period in 2015. Its net income fell by nearly half to US$510m from US$991m. Net sales of gypsum rose by 4.6% to US$2.14bn from US$2.04bn.
"We are in a stronger financial position than we have been in for many years," said Jennifer F Scanlon, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of USG. "In 2016 we expanded adjusted operating margins in our Gypsum, Ceilings, and USG Boral businesses. We finished the year on a high note by paying off US$900m of debt."
US: The Industrial Packaging division of International Paper has seen its sales fall by 2% year-on-year to US$14.2bn from US$14.5bn in the same period in 2015. Its operating profit fell by 11% to US$1.65bn from US$1.85bn. Overall sales volumes rose slightly to 9.4Mt from 9.3Mt. Paper used for gypsum production rose by 17% to 181,000t from 155,000t. In North America the company blamed the falling profits on fewer shipping days, higher input costs and higher operating costs.
US: SGK, a division of Matthews International Corporation, has created a global, unified packaging system for USG Boral. USG Boral hired SGK to brand its varied processes and brands packaging into one core and consistent master brand. The common goal was to unify 14 categories across 12 markets and 13 businesses into one cohesive efficient packaging system.
To prepare for the branding exercise, the USG Boral and SGK teams conducted audit sessions within the different markets and spoke to a range of stakeholders, architects, builders, contractors, distributors and end users. The aim was to create a unified portfolio architecture that allows for future 'premiumization,' whilst optimising brand recognition and product navigation. The new packaging design is intended to allow easy navigation of product types through vivid colours and bold typography. It also includes anti-counterfeiting measures.
"Our partnership with SGK has been a fascinating journey in designing a new, cohesive packaging system for our diverse portfolio across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets. The system manages to convey the union of USG Boral's premium positioning and best-in-class building products technology, manufacturing and distribution footprint. We are now becoming one USG Boral across 12 different markets and cultures throughout Asia, Australia and the Middle East," said Jeremy Verstraete, Marketing Director, USG Boral.
US: Eagle Materials revenue has risen by 5% year-on-year to US$933m in the first nine months of its financial year to 31 March 2017 from US$891m in the same period in the previous year. Its net earnings rose by 43% to US$162m from US$113m. Sales from its cement division rose by 7% to US$359m from US$335m. However, sales volumes fell slightly to 3.89Mt. Sales from its gypsum wallboard and paperboard division grew by 7% to US$440m from US$411m. Sales volumes of gypsum wallboard rose by 7% to 175Mm2 from 164Mm2.
US: The Gypsum Association (GA) has released revisions to five of its technical documents to update them with current best practice. These include: GA-220-2016 Gypsum Board Winter Related Installation Recommendations; GA-223-2016 Gypsum Panel Products, Types, Uses, and Standards; GA-226-2016 Application of Gypsum Board to Form Curved Surface; GA-234-2016 Control Joints for Fire Resistance Rated Systems; and GA-338-2016 Guidelines for Prevention of Mold Growth on Gypsum Board.
"Regular review and revision of GA documents is a key component of the association's technical services mandate and the GA's Building Code and Technical Committee (BCTC) has made a three-to five-year revision cycle for all documents a high priority," said GA Director of Technical Services Michael Schmeida.
All the documents are available for free via the GA.
Canada: The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has ruled that gypsum wallboard dumping from the US exports has caused injury to the domestic industry. The ruling means that preliminary duties of up to 276% imposed by the Canada Border Services Agency on imports from the US in September 2016 end but will be replaced by permanent variable duties on any imports that fall below a floor price established in December 2016, according to the Canadian Press.
In a separate ruling the tribunal also found that provisional duties in Western Canada have 'substantially' reducing competition in those markets. It has recommended that the government consider refunding some of the duties paid so far to alleviate short-term pain for contractors and consumers, and that it consider a special remission of duties to residents of Fort McMurray.
CertainTeed Gypsum Canada complained to the Canada Border Services Agency about wallboard originating in the US being sold at 'unfair' prices and this led to an investigation in June 2016. However, CertainTeed Gypsum Canada may have benefitted from being the only Canadian manufacturer of wallboard in Western Canada following the introduction of provisional duties in September 2016.
The tribunal will issue the reasons for its findings and recommendations in both cases on 19 January 2017.