Swiss pulp and paper industry increased production compared to 2020 and the majority of member companies of the association of Swiss paper, board and film manufacturers (SPKF) were able to increase their sales.
Just like many other sectors, Switzerland’s paper industry had to cope with supply bottlenecks in 2021. The association of Swiss paper, board and film manufacturers (SPKF) reports that this concerned recovered paper on the one hand and pulp on the other. Recovered paper was rare throughout Europe in the year under review, says the SPKF. Printing volumes and pagination of newspapers and advertising materials continued to decline during the pandemic and with them the arisings of certain recovered paper grades diminished. At the same time, the demand for packaging paper and board was on the rise. The battle for raw materials in which different paper producers participated drove prices up all over Europe, and at the end of 2021, recovered paper cost two to three times more than at the beginning of the year. Moreover, the strong rise in energy prices made the energy-intensive production even more expensive.
The majority of its member companies were able to increase their sales, reports the SPKF, whereas some of them stagnated and only a few suffered losses. Statistics show that the SPKF member companies manufactured 1.4 million t of paper, board and film and generated CHF1.54bn in sales last year. In the year under review, 6 per cent more paper and board were delivered by Swiss paper mills, with above all newsprint (up by 17 per cent) and graphic paper (up by 10 per cent) showing strong volume growth, also because these segments had suffered substantially the year before.
Even if total paper consumption stagnated in comparison to 2020, individual paper grades showed higher fluctuation. The consumption of newsprint continued to fall and sanitary and household paper consumption also showed a downward trend, settling at the 2019 level. During 2020, the first year of the pandemic, the demand for sanitary paper was extremely high, and at times this grade was even sold out.