Shutdowns of fine paper capacity in Europe not quite keeping pace with dwindling consumption

04 Dec 2019 − 

Next cut at Stora Enso Oulu will not happen until the second half of 2020.

For a good decade now, the European woodfree uncoated and coated paper market has been experiencing structural change that is going hand in hand with a consistent decline in consumption and corresponding ramifications for the market. Paper manufacturers have responded by shutting down capacity and rebuilding machines. The last major wave of closures took place in 2014 and 2015 when roughly 2 million tpy of capacity were eliminated within the span of two years.

Consumption has been in steep decline since then, especially for woodfree coated paper. According to Eurograph figures, woodfree paper shipments will likely have dropped by a total of roughly 1.3 million t in 2018 and 2019 together, with woodfree coated paper accounting for roughly two-thirds of this sum.

This contrasts with capacity closures of up to 1 million t in the same period in 2018 and 2019, most of which took place at Arjowiggins, UPM, Scheufelen, Lecta and Feldmühle. However, this figure also includes some removed capacity for types of paper other than woodfree uncoated and coated paper category, especially at Arjowiggins.

This article is an excerpt from our latest report on woodfree paper capacities in Europe.

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