Paper production up 2.6% and consumption up 5.6% in 2015

2015 represented the beginning of the recovery of the sector, with paper production finally registering growth. However, the sector is far from being in a position to avail of rising domestic demand. The increase of 2.6% in paper production is still well below the 5.6% growth of the domestic market in Spain, which was satisfied to a large extent by imports, which were up 2.3%. Paper exports fell by 4.1% in 2015 due to a loss of competitiveness associated with the energy reform in Spain, according to figures released by the Spanish Association of Paper and Pulp Manufacturers (ASPAPEL). The association recently presented the Spanish Paper Sector Annual Statistics report as well as the 2016 Update of the Paper Sustainability Report.

Of the six largest EU paper producers, Spain registered the highest growth. Germany, Europe’s leading producer, posted similar figures to 2014. The large Scandinavian  producers—Sweden and Finland— saw a fall in production, as did France. Only Italy, with increased paper production of 2.2%, came close to the Spanish production figure of 2015.

Special paper (15.3%) and toilet and sanitary paper (9.2%) saw the highest growth in 2015. Paper for graphic use (press, printing and writing paper) began to recover in the second quarter of 2015 but production for the year was down 1.6% on the previous year.

Finally, e-commerce is providing an important boost in the sales of paper for wrapping and packaging. Paper for wrapping and packaging accounts for over half of the paper produced in Spain.