2015 brought good news for Europe's paper industry, with the continent's sector placing second worldwide in terms of performance.
With stable production and increased consumption compared to 2014, the European paper industry's growth lagged only behind that of China.
According to a recent report by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), member countries produced 90.9 million tonnes of paper and board in 2015, which was up marginally by 2% from 2014. The graphic paper grades, such as newsprint, writing and printing paper, accounted for nearly 40% of all the paper and board Europe produced in 2015, with nearly 50% represented by packaging grades.
While every other CEPI country apart from Europe and China experienced a decline in paper production in 2015, the overall output performance of CEPI countries was slightly better than all other regions of the world with a tradition of paper production. Canada experienced a 7.4% decline in production in 2015. Consumption, too, was up in Europe, rising by half a percentage point, to 77.4 million tonnes.
CEPI also confirmed that member countries maintained a positive paper and board trade balance, which means that exports exceeded imports (13.5 million tonnes in 2015, compared to 14 million tonnes in 2014).
Market pulp production, however, witnessed a slight decline, falling 0.7% from 2014, to an output of 13.1 million tonnes.
* Image Credit: CEPI