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Production of paper and board decreased in Europe in 2014

Published by
Simon Matthis - 15 Jul 2015

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) recently released its 2014 Key Statistics, giving 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. It shows an industry in full transformation, with the growth in output in the packaging sector and a more modest increase in hygiene paper production more than balancing out the continuous decline in the output of graphic paper. Here are the main highlights of the report:

- The production of paper and board in Europe decreased by 0.2% in 2014 compared to the previous year, after a cumulative decline of 4% between 2010 and 2013. It is now established at 91.1 million tonnes.

- Paper and board consumption rose by 0.9% compared to 2013 and totalled 77.1 million tonnes. This increase is particularly important because it comes after three consecutive years of decline. The EU28 and the euro area recovered in 2014, with the annual GDP thought to have increased by respectively 1.3% and 0.8% (source: Eurostat). This was reflected in the demand for paper.

- Graphic grades represented 40.5% of all paper and board produced in Europe, packaging grades 47.5%, sanitary and household papers 7.7% and speciality grades 4.3%.

- Paper and board exports to countries outside CEPI dropped, causing concern, whilst imports rose, resulting in a slightly negative trade balance impact. However, CEPI countries maintained an overall positive trade balance in paper (exports exceeding imports) of 14.0 million tonnes in 2014 (14.8 million tonnes in 2013).

- Market pulp production fell by 1.4% compared to 2013, with an output of 13.2 million tonnes.