In the background of increasingly uncertain global markets, European production of paper and board demonstrated resilience in 2016. This not only continues the trend of recent years but exceeds the performance of other key paper-producing regions including the United States and Canada.
European consumption of paper and board has exhibited a rise for the third consecutive year, growing by 0.3% in 2016, driven by stronger demand for certain categories of paper products particularly sustainable packaging, hygiene and speciality papers. The rise in consumption has also had a knock-on effect on imports into CEPI countries which rose by 4.5% in 2016 (7.2% of total European paper consumption). Despite this trend and increased competition globally the industry remains a net exporter, exporting approximately 21% of its production.
On another positive note a 2.7% increase was witnessed in pulp production putting a halt to recent years of decline. This was buoyed by an increase (17.8%) in the export of market pulp to non-CEPI countries, particularly Asia (20.8% increase).
Utilisation of paper for recycling has remained relatively stable as in previous years exhibiting a slight increase in 2016. The collection of paper for recycling has also moved in the right direction, displaying a modest increase of 1.0%. At the same time, exports of paper for recycling have increased by 5.6% the majority of which reached Asian markets (91.7%).
CEPI’s key statistics, audited by Deloitte, are the primary publication of reference for the most up-to-date statistics on European industry production and market developments. The statistics are a compilation of data received by CEPI members (national associations with pulp and paper companies as members) under the auspices of CEPI’s Statistics Network. Some additional sources, such as Eurostat, have been used where necessary and relevant.
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The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is the pan-European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry. Through its 18 national associations CEPI gathers 495 companies operating more than 900 pulp and paper mills across Europe producing paper, cardboard, pulp and other bio-based products. CEPI represents 22% of world production, €81 billion of annual turnover to the European economy and directly employs over 175,000 people.