The production of paper and paperboard by member countries of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) fell in 2013, according to preliminary figures.
Total production fell by 1.3 per cent to 91 million tonnes, which is over 11 million tonnes lower than the peak total paper production of 102 million tonnes in 2007.
Mill and machine closures in the EU27 in 2013 amounted to 2.4 million tonnes, while new capacities or upgrading of existing ones reached 1.6 million tonnes.
US and Japanese production has stagnated, but South Korea and Canada showed production increases above 3 per cent.
More moderate growth between 1.5 and 3 per cent was seen in China, Brazil, India and Russia.
Graphic grade production has fallen by 4.8 per cent and newsprint fell by 5 per cent. But packaging grades increased by around 1.8 per cent when compared with 2012 but there is a trend towards light weighting and resource efficiency as overall tonnage fell.
It is currently estimated by CEPI that use of paper for recycling increased by 0.5 per cent in 2013, with positive increases in packaging paper and board offsetting decline in recycled graphic paper.