Paper and paperboard production contracted substantially also in the USA, Canada and Japan. On the other hand, paper industry production volumes in the developing economies contracted only a little, or not at all (China).
Finland accounted for 12% of overall paper and paperboard production in Europe in 2009. Sweden produced slightly more and accounted for 12.3% of overall production, while Germany was by far the largest manufacturer with a share of 24%. However, Finland was clearly the biggest manufacturer of magazine paper in Europe.
The economic downturn cut production of graphical papers the most; manufacturing volumes were down 15% on average in this category. Demand for these paper grades – newsprint, magazine paper and fine paper – is most clearly dependent on the economic cycle. Paperboard production contracted less, about 6%, as did production of packaging papers, output of which was down around 4%. European tissue paper production volumes were largely unchanged.
The European paper industry’s production bottomed out during the first half of 2009, but started to recover towards the end of the year and, in the last quarter, narrowly exceeded the level achieved one year earlier.
Swedish exporters benefited from the weak exchange rate of the krona in 2009. The production of the Swedish forest industry suffered considerably less than was the case in Finland and other countries because the weak krona increased its cost competitiveness in relation to the countries of the eurozone.
Esa-Jukka Käär, tel. +358 9 132 6616