Paper industry in Europe
The European pulp and paper industry is one of the most competitive and sustainable sectors and it competes on the global market. Despite the economic slowdown began in mid-2011 has affected also European pulp and paper production, in 2012, and the growing capacities in emerging countries, it remains among the world leaders and the number one exporting region with close to 20% of its production and its performance remains above other energy-intensive sectors in Europe.
During 2012, the overall output performance of all Confederation of European Paper Industry (CEPI) member countries was similar to that of other major traditional paper producing world regions, such as USA, Japan and South Korea while China and Brazil only performed better. In 2012, CEPI members produced 92.1 million tonnes of paper and board which represents a decrease of 1.6% over 2011. The pre-crisis production in 2008 totalled 97.9 million tonnes. Pulp production fell by 1.0% while the output of market pulp increased by 4.3%. Exports of paper and board outside Europe showed an increase by 5.3% whilst imports fell by 9.7% when compared with 2011. The overall consumption of paper and board in CEPI fell by 3.8% last year. In comparison the overall GDP in Europe decreased by 0.3% in 2012, but it will recover in 2014 with a 1.4% increase.
In this context, the European paper industry is looking for a healthier supply and demand balance and is modernising its industrial base to remain competitive. Competitiveness depends on a multitude of factors, starting with raw material and energy prices, market developments, exchange rate fluctuations and legislation. To maintain and further improve its competitive position, while delivering superior environmental performance, a level playing field and a business-friendly environment is required.