Tissue and packaging offset graphic paper decline in Europe
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) released its 2013 Key Statistics, drawing a clear picture of the industry’s performance last year. The report includes data about production, consumption and the trade of pulp, paper and raw materials, as well as data on energy and environment.
CEPI members produced 91.1 million tons of paper and board in 2013. This is a decrease of 1.2% (1.1 million tons) compared to 2012. 2013 is the third consecutive year paper and board production has declined, since the rebound registered in 2010. Total pulp production fell by 2.2% but market pulp output increased by 1.3%. On a positive note, CEPI countries maintained a positive trade balance for paper and board (exports exceeding imports) of 14.8 million tons.
The contraction in paper and board production observed in 2013 results from the structural decline in graphic paper consumption in combination with the on-going growth of paper and board packaging and household and sanitary paper. The good performance of the latter two sectors only partly offsets the erosion the graphic paper sector is currently experiencing.
The graphic paper sector share of all paper and board produced in Europe dropped to 41.9% in 2013. By contrast, the share of the packaging grades and sanitary and household papers is continuously growing and in 2013 represented 45.9% and 7.7% respectively of all paper and board produced in Europe.
On the whole, the pulp and paper industry continues to suffer from the slow economic recovery. In 2013, weak economic conditions highly affected the consumption of paper and board. Indeed, EU GDP registered a low 0.1% increase (-0.4% in 2012: source Eurostat). In addition, total paper deliveries fell by 1.2% compared to 2012, as a result of reduced domestic consumption (- 1.5%) and a less dynamic export market (-1.2%). Paper imports also fell more than 5%.
The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 515 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 780 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.