German paper industry begins recovery

David Bellm

January 29, 2014

1 Min Read
German paper industry begins recovery

Sales in the German paper industry fell considerably by 16 per cent to 12.5 billion Euros in the crisis year 2009 . But the industry is said have now come out of the trough, with the contract situation improving markedly.

Only a few companies failed to survive in year 2009, said Dr. Wolfgang Palm, president of the German Pulp and Paper Association (VDP) at the annual press conference of the association. He added that because of rising costs companies were being forced to adjust prices to safeguard jobs.

Overall production and sales had fallen in 2009 by 8 per cent to around 21 million tons, but it would be several years before the industry attained the pre-crisis level again, said Palm.

There were great differences in the way the various paper grades were faring. While the sales of packaging papers had more or less stabilized with a decline in sales for the year of about 3 per cent, the surplus capacities in graphic papers were being clearly felt. The market for magazines and newspapers was still weak and sales there were down 14 per cent. The manufacturers of hygiene paper had been barely touched by the crisis. Most manufacturers of technical and special papers had suffered from the 13 per cent drop in sales, although their order situation had improved considerably.
The German paper industry produces 21 million tons of paper and is still the fourth largest paper industry in the world. Moreover, it has consolidated its top position in Europe and enjoys a market share of 24 per cent.
SOURCE: German Pulp and Paper Association (VDP)

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