Preliminary CEPI data shows that packaging and hygiene paper saw increased demand in Europe in 2020 as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Due to the e-commerce boom resulting from Covid, demand for packaging paper and board continued to rise last year, especially for transport packaging and corrugated boxes.
The production of packaging grades is estimated to have increased by 2.1% compared to 2019.
But the output of carton board plus other board packaging, that is mainly used for retail, and wrapping grades for paper bags was unchanged.
Sanitary and household paper manufacturing output increased by 1.9% in Europe, according to the CEPI data, despite restrictions affecting the away-from-home market.
However, overall paper and board consumption was impacted by the economic recession and decreased by 6.6%.
The pandemic has also accelerated the structural decline of graphic grades. Overall production of these fell by 18%. Newspaper and printing & writing papers decreased by 20.5% and 18.4% respectively.
According to the preliminary CEPI data, the utilisation of paper for recycling by paper companies in the area covered by its members decreased by 2.1% compared to 2019. The pandemic had an impact on the availability and quality of paper for recycling throughout 2020, CEPI said. Exports of recyclable paper were down by 8.4%, according to the preliminary statistics.