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Recovery in European paper industry

Archiv – Paper production increased by 2.7% in Europe last year to reach 90.6 million tonnes while consumption of paper and board rose by 1.5% – or 1.2 million tonnes – to 82.3 million tonnes. Exports increased by a substantial 26.1% or 1.6 million tonnes, while the import total of 7.9 million tonnes represented an increase of a mere 9000 tonnes over the 2001 figure.Paper production increased by 2.7% in Europe last year to reach 90.6 million tonnes while consumption of paper and board rose by 1.5% – or 1.2 million tonnes – to 82.3 million tonnes. Exports increased by a substantial 26.1% or 1.6 million tonnes, while the import total of 7.9 million tonnes represented an increase of a mere 9000 tonnes over the 2001 figure.
Statistics from the Brussels-based Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) – a non-profit making organisation comprising 19 member countries (13 EU states plus Norway and Switzerland, and associate members Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) – tell their own story. Following the 2001 dip in output levels, 2002 saw paper manufacturers within CEPI’s member countries almost match the record production levels of the year 2000. While production capacity broke through the 100 million tonnes barrier for the first time, the operating rate remained at 90% last year.
Over the longer term, production of paper and board within CEPI countries has increased on average by 3.2% per annum since 1991, equivalent to an additional 25.4 million tonnes.
As in previous years, the various grades experienced differing fortunes in 2002. Output of graphic grades increased by 1.4% (+600 000 tonnes) while production of newsprint declined 5.8% due mainly to weakness in the advertising market. Production of uncoated graphic grades rose by 3.7%, while output of coated grades improved by 3.8%. Mechanical grades (+3.3%) were outperformed in 2002 by woodfree grades (+4.1%).
Production of packaging grades increased by 4.3% (+1.5 million tonnes), with output of carton board showing a rise of 6.5%. Case material production rose by around 3.8% and that of wrappings by 1.9%. Output of all other packaging grades increased by 4.3% while hygienic paper manufacturers increased their production by 4.6%.
Output of pulp rose very much in line with paper and board production. Total output of both integrated and market pulp reached 38.8 million tonnes last year, an increase of 2.4% over 2001. Consumption of pulp rose to 45 million tonnes (+1.9%); consumption of mechanical and semi-chemical pulp decreased by 1.3% to 13.8 million tonnes while the corresponding figure for chemical pulp was 30.1 million tonnes (+3.0%).
GDP within CEPI countries increased by 1.0% last year and, according to Eurostat forecasts, will grow by a further 1.5% in 2003.

CEPI figures for 2002
x million tonnes % difference from 2001
Woodpulp for papermaking production 38.8 +2.4%
Total paper production: graphic papers 90.6 44.3 +2.7% +1.4%
Packaging papers 36.7 +4.3%
Other grades 9.3 -0.4%
Recovered paper use 43.1 +2.3%
Total paper consumption 82.3 +1.5%
Exports outside CEPI member countries 12.5 +18.2%

Number of mills 1038 paper mills and 219 pulp mills
Number employed within CEPI countries 251 000

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