Copacel sees France’s paper industry heading towards a severe recession

The future looks gloomy for the French paper industry
05 Jun 2020 − 

The latest forecasts say that the French GDP might decline by 11 per cent in 2020. The association Copacel thinks that the paper industry will be particularly impacted.

People might be inclined to think that the worst should be over now that coronavirus restrictions are gradually being eased and commercial and industrial activity is resuming in France. But the paper industry still has tough times ahead, the French association of paper and board producers Copacel stressed in its annual conference, which took place online this year. The association believes that the industry is moving towards a severe recession.

According to Copacel, France's paper and board industry has made it through the lockdown era and coronavirus restrictions in relatively good shape. The association estimates that production between mid-March and the end of May was around 10 per cent lower than it was in normal times. The activity rate of the French industry as a whole reportedly stood at only 55 per cent.

However, Copacel is not very optimistic about the near future. The association expects consumption to plunge from June onwards, due to factors including the weakened purchasing power of some households and a slump in printing for advertising. Cooler demand would create significant surplus capacity throughout Europe, Copacel noted. Since production costs for paper mills are particularly high, the association feels that some of them might be in danger of survival.

This article is an excerpt from our article on the French paper industry and the considerations of Copacel on the status of the industry. Find the article in its entirety in EUWID no 24, which will be published on 10 June.

To gain full access to company news and in-depth market and price reports on major paper and board grades, raw materials and consumables consider subscribing to EUWID Pulp and Paper or start a three-week free trial.

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