It’s the best and worst of times for paper manufacturers

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Paper Sector Risk Report


Paper production grew in 2017, although the global picture is patchy. The rise is mainly due to increased household consumption of sanitary paper, as hygiene habits change around the world, and to the growing use of cardboard packaging driven by e-commerce. This offsets the rapid decline in traditional uses of paper, such as newspapers, driven by the advent of digital technology and media.


Coface Regional Sector Risk Assessment

Strengths and weaknesses

Paper is the world’s most recycled material, and this is perhaps its biggest strength for the future. The pressure to use recyclables can only increase. In particular paper products can provide sustainable alternatives to plastics. In 2018 Coface analysts predict that paper production will increase in Europe, but fall in the USA. In Germany, which is Europe’s biggest market, demand for industrial packaging will be particularly strong. Overall, traditional pulp production will continue to fall, with mills closing, whereas paper tissue and paper packaging production are on the rise.

When dealing with an industry that is such a mix of thriving and declining businesses, there’s a clear argument for protecting your own bottom line. World-leading credit insurance from Coface comes with built-in business intelligence: two essentials in this increasingly uncertain world.

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