PaperAge Magazine

European Paper and Board Production in 2019 Follows EU Economy Downward Trend, But Market Pulp Up

reels of paper European paper and board production follows the 2019 EU economy downward trend, in contrast with a significant uptick in market pulp production as a result of export market demand.

Feb. 21, 2020 - Cepi announced that according to preliminary figures, the European paper and board production has decreased by 3.0% in 2019 compared to the previous year.

European Paper Industry countries covered by the data are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

European paper and board production follows the 2019 EU economy downward trend, in contrast with a significant uptick in market pulp production as a result of export market demand, Cepi noted

2019 saw new capacities coming on stream, and upgrades of existing ones, but closures and lower production operating rates dragged down paper and board production. This downward trend was observed in all the top paper and board producing countries.

The slowing down of the EU's economy in 2019 — from 1.9% in 2018 to 1.1% in 20191 — combined with global instability and trade tensions, impacted the European paper and board consumption, which recorded a 4% decline.

Paper and Board

Domestic paper and board deliveries in Europe went down by 2.6% compared to 2018, while imports declined by 3.9% according to preliminary figures. Paper and board exports grew by close to 0.9%.

Contrary to previous years, packaging paper and board production remain relatively stable in 2019, unable to offset the on-going decline of graphic grades.

The overall production of graphic grades — newsprint and printing & writing papers — fell by more than 8.0% in 2019.


The production of sanitary and household papers registered a limited growth, +1.0%.


Total pulp production (integrated pulp, plus market pulp) increased by 0.8%. It was over-performed by market pulp production which jumped by 6.1%, as a result of recent massive investments in new capacities. This growth in production is driven by the export market demand. Similarly, exports of market pulp jumped by close to 40% in 2019 according to Eurostat.

To respond to this higher demand, the European paper industry has invested significantly to increase the production of market pulp and further implement the bio-refinery concept. These investments combine higher efficiency in raw material use and the production of highly innovative bio-based products, besides market pulp.

Pulp produced in Europe comes from sustainably managed forests, for example through programs like PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and is increasingly used in various value chains. The level of certified wood, chips and sawmilling by-products was 74% in 2018.

1 Source: European Commission.

About Cepi

Cepi is the pan-European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry. Through its 18 national associations CEPI gathers 495 companies operating more than 900 pulp and paper mills across Europe producing paper, cardboard, pulp and other bio-based products.

Cepi represents 22% of world production, EUR 82 billion of annual turnover to the European economy and directly employs more than 177,000 people. From forest fibre technology to advance paper design the industry currently invests EUR 5.5 billion annually and is a leader of the low carbon circular bioeconomy transition.

Cepi's 2050 'Investment Roadmap' outlines the industry's vision to advance this transformation in Europe through value creation and decarbonisation. To learn more, visit:

SOURCE: Cepi (Confederation of European Paper Industries)