Spain's paper industry is recovering. According to Aspapel, paper production as well as consumption in the country went up in 2015 compared to 2014. Packaging papers were especially sought-after.
"2015 is the business year when Spain's paper industry has begun to recover", writes Aspapel, the association of Spanish pulp, paper, and board manufacturers, in its report on the development of the paper industry last year. Paper and board output in the country in 2015 grew year-on-year by 2.6%.
The figure is highest among the six largest paper-producing countries in Europe, Aspapel said, observing that output growth was lower in Germany (+0.3%) and Italy (+2.2%) while production receded in Sweden (-5%), Finland (-0.9%) and France (-1.4%).
Aspapel notes that year-on-year growth was highest in the specialty and sanitary paper segments where production rose by 15.3% and 9.2% respectively.
Output growth in the country was not sufficient to meet the increase in domestic demand. The association reports that a total of 6.6 million t of paper were consumed in 2015, 5.6% more than in the previous year. Spain is the fifth largest paper consumer in the EU behind Germany, Italy, the UK and France.
Demand growth was highest for packaging paper and board last year. Consumption of corrugated case material increased by 8.2% compared with the previous year, consumption of coated board by 6.8% and that of other packaging paper such as kraft sack paper, paper for bags or coreboard by 9.3%.
Growing demand was met, not least, with higher imports in 2015. Aspapel reports that Spanish buyers imported 2.3% more paper and board than in 2014. By contrast, exports declined by 4.1%.