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Spain raises P&B production by 4.5 Percent in 2019, up 1.1 Percent in Q1 2020

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Spain increased it paper and board (P&B) production in both 2019 and the first quarter of the current year. According to the Spanish association of pulp and paper manufacturers Aspapel, the country produced 1.7 million tonnes of pulp and 6.4 million tonnes of paper last year and generated a turnover of Euro 4.6 billion ($7.2 billion).

Spain’s P&B consumption, a total of 6.9 million tonnes, grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2019. However, the development of both production and consumption differed depending on the grade, with the graphic paper sector showing a negative development, while packaging paper and tissue continued to grow.

“Our strong domestic paper industry has enabled us to meet demand and avoid shortages of essential products such as toilet and sanitary paper, packaging for food, drinks or pharmaceuticals and graphic papers for communication, information, leisure and culture during the [coronavirus] pandemic,” Aspapel president Jordi Mercader said in a statement. “The pulp and paper industry is an essential sector in our economy. It has been so during the pandemic and will continue to play an essential role in the recovery of the general economy,” he added. According to Mercader, the sector contributes 4.5 percent to Spain’s GDP and accounts for 18.5 percent of industrial employment.

Spain’s P&B industry produced a total of 6.4 million tonnes of paper and board in 69 mills last year, which was 4.5 percent higher than the previous year. The biggest growth was seen in the containerboard sector, where production rose by 10.6 percent year on year to 3.3 million tonnes, and the sanitary paper sector, where output grew by 8.2 percent to 777,400 tonnes.

In the period from January to April this year, Spain raised its P&B production by 1.1% year on year, in spite of the Covid-19 outbreak. Pulp production was 5.2% higher than in the same period last year. “Aware of the essential nature of their activity, almost all of Spain’s 10 pulp mills and 70 paper mills increased prevention and safety measures and remained in operation to avoid the shortage of basic products,” Aspapel said.

The greatest production increase in the first four months of 2020 was registered in the containerboard sector. Here, output grew by 8.9 percent year on year. Production of toilet and sanitary paper grew by 1.6 percent with a peak of 11.4 percent in April.

Containerboard (+4.1 pecent), toilet and sanitary paper (+4.0 percent) and specialty paper (+3.8 percent) were the sectors in which consumption grew last year.


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