CEPI, the European association representing the pulp and paper industry, has released its annual market and industry review for 2017 which confirms, despite a challenging global environment, the strong performance of industry in Europe.
‘The 2017 figures demonstrate that the European pulp and paper industry is achieving a phenomenal turnaround. Whether it is production, added value or exports, all key indicators are positive. The current level of investment, not seen since 2005, is indicative of industry’s self-confidence and the acceleration of its transformation,’ said Sylvain Lhôte, CEPI director general.
The latest investment figures also bode well for the industry’s ambitious investment agenda. The year 2017 exhibited a 7.5% growth of investment from 2016, at over €5 billion, which is aligned with the transformation outlined in the industry’s 2050 ‘Investment Roadmap’.
Consumption of paper is up by 0.5%, a significant increase based on previous trends. Similarly the production of paper and board is up 1.5% from 2016, benefiting from a more favourable economic environment and from conditions promoting sustainable solutions.
Exports were particularly strong tallying a 5.2% increase from 2016, a noteworthy figure in the background of growing international tensions on trade.
Likewise the industry has also proved performant when it comes to paper for recycling. Notwithstanding the introduction in 2017 of the Chinese waste import restrictions, the paper and board recycling rate has increased to 72.3%. This comes in the same year that industry has witnessed a 1.4% increase in the utilisation of paper for recycling.