Rayonier Inc. (NYSE:RYN) announced today that it has concluded negotiations with customers for prices and volumes of cellulose specialties grades in 2014. On average, the company expects that prices will be seven to eight percent below 2013, consistent with the market pressures discussed in its third-quarter earnings call in October.
The company now expects 2014 sales volumes of cellulose specialties of 520,000 to 540,000 metric tons, an increase of 30,000 to 50,000 tons above 2013. This represents an improvement from the earlier estimated increase of 15,000 to 40,000 tons. Higher expected 2014 volumes reflect the successful completion of the Cellulose Specialties Expansion (CSE) project at the company’s Jesup, Ga., mill that expanded capacity of high-margin specialty grades by 190,000 metric tons and customer commitments for additional volume from the expansion during the multi-year ramp-up period.
Paul Boynton, Chairman, President and CEO stated, “After years of price increases, we have worked with our customers to moderately reduce 2014 cellulose specialties prices in response to what we believe are near-term supply and demand conditions. We remain confident that our technical leadership, commitment to quality, and increasing specialties sales volumes from the CSE project position our Performance Fibers business for long-term earnings growth.”
In addition, Boynton noted, “With the completion of these negotiations and strengthening timber markets, we now anticipate that cash available for distribution in 2014 will be at or above the 2013 level.”Certain statements in this document regarding anticipated financial, legal or other outcomes including business and market conditions, outlook and other similar statements relating to Rayonier's future events, developments or financial or operational performance or results, are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. These forward looking statements are identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "estimate," "believe," "intend,” "anticipate" and other similar language. However, the absence of these or similar words or expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. While management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable when made, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. Important factors are described in the company's most recent Form 10-K and 10-Q reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements that may have been made in this document. Rayonier assumes no obligation to update these statements except as is required by law. About Rayonier Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Forest Resources, Real Estate and Performance Fibers. The company owns, leases or manages 2.7 million acres of timber and land in the United States and New Zealand. The company's holdings include approximately 200,000 acres with residential and commercial development potential along the Interstate 95 corridor between Savannah, Ga., and Daytona Beach, Fla. Its Performance Fibers business is one of the world's leading producers of high-value specialty cellulose fibers, which are used in products such as filters, pharmaceuticals and LCD screens. Approximately 50 percent of the company's sales are outside the U.S. to customers in approximately 20 countries. Rayonier is structured as a real estate investment trust. More information is available at www.rayonier.com .
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