European pulp and paper production in 2012 continued to be affected by the economic slowdown which began in mid-2011. Notably, its performance remains above other energy-intensive sectors in Europe. The European paper industry is looking for a healthier supply and demand balance and is modernising its industrial base to remain competitive.
The overall output performance of all CEPI member countries during 2012 was similar to that of other major traditional paper producing world regions, such as USA, Japan and South Korea. Only China and Brazil performed better.
CEPI members produced 92.1 million tonnes of paper and board in 2012 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 (source: Eurostat – EU27).