Submitted by: Josh Birch August 15, 2022
Cepi’s annual statistics for the European pulp and paper industry offer a unique view of the current state of the market for pulp and paper products and the industry’s performance. They also allow for an objective analysis of deeper trends behind the industry’s resilience.
Like other industries, in 2021 pulp and paper showed signs of a strong post-Covid recovery, as paper and board consumption increased by 5.8%, outperforming the overall rebound of the euro area GDP. As a result of these positive trends, paper and board production also increased, by 6.1%. The sector’s operating rate, the capacity at which paper mills are operated, has reached 90% over the year, compared to 85% in 2020. Positive trends are also recorded for the first quarter of 2022, with the sector surpassing in the first quarter of 2022 its 2021 first quarter production levels.
The growth was driven by a renewed demand both on domestic markets and globally. Exports exceeded the levels achieved in 2019, registering a strong growth in sales to North and South American markets. Currently, 22% of paper production from Cepi members is exported.
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