CEPI member countries’ paper and board production was stable in 2018, compared to the previous year, according to preliminary figures. Total production in 2018 reached 92.2 million tonnes. Last year saw new capacities coming on stream but also closures. Combined with the upgrade of existing machines, this translated in a net capacity increase of 1.3 million tonnes.
The structural divergence in the production trends for graphic grades and packaging grades continued in 2018. The overall production of graphic grades fell by around 3.6%, with the highest decrease of 8.9% recorded in newsprint. Based on the first nine month cumulative data, it is expected that paper and board deliveries for the year remained unchanged compared to 2017, mirroring production stability in Europe.
The overall consumption of paper and board in CEPI countries in 2018 increased by around 0.5% compared to 2017, based on the latest data available. This is the fifth year in a row registering growth, thanks to the favourable economic environment in the EU.
The utilisation of paper for recycling by CEPI members last year increased by around 0.4% compared to 2017 to reach 48.5 million tonnes.