CEPI member countries’ paper and board production was stable in 2018, compared to the previous year, according to its preliminary figures.
Total production in 2018 reached 92.2 million tonnes, with the year seeing new capacities coming on stream but also closures. Combined with the upgrade of existing machines, this translated in a net capacity increase of 1.3 million tonnes.
The production stability seen in Europe contrasts with the reduced global paper and board production, 0.6% in 2018, compared to 2017, to 417 million tonnes, according to very first estimates.
This reduction was mainly driven by China, whose production declined by close to 4%, and paper and board production in Japan, South Korea, and the US also decreased.
However, production in Canada, Russia and other emerging countries (Indonesia, India and Mexico) increased.
The structural divergence in the production trends for graphic grades and packaging grades was confirmed in 2018.
Overall production of graphic grades fell by around 3.6%, with the highest decrease of 8.9% recorded in newsprint.
Based on the first nine-month cumulative data, it is expected that paper and board deliveries for 2018 remained unchanged compared to 2017.
The overall consumption of paper and board in CEPI countries in 2018 increased by around 0.5% compared to 2018, according to the data. This is the fifth consecutive year registering growth, due to economic environment in the EU and at a global level.
Production of pulp has increased by 0.5%, with the total output approximately 38.0 million tonnes, said CEPI.
Output of market pulp showed a stronger increase of 4.6%, as a consequence of substantial investments in new capacities and growing demand.
The utilisation of paper for recycling by CEPI members increased by around 0.4% compared to 2017 level to reach 48.5 million tonnes.