Pulp & Paper

Pulp and paper products have become an integral part of many industries since the 1800s. While the utilization of paper varies from person to person, it is inevitable to be a consumer of commercial or domestic paper products in the modern world. Progress in the digitization of activities involving industries as well as day-to-day life has had a massive impact on paper consumption, whether for documentation or just a take-way coffee cup. Moreover, consumption figures at the global and regional levels show that paper utilization is equal to the industry’s production.

Paper manufacturing is a highly energy-intensive and raw material dependent industry; however, it has moved towards a low-carbon economy in resource efficiency and innovation. Since its inception, the industry has undergone substantial transformations due to changes in consumerism. Digital communication's negative impact on graphic paper has forced many companies to venture into producing other paper products.

Leading global forestry and paper company by revenue
International Paper
Leading forestry and paper by net income
Svenska Cellulosa (SCA)
Leading paper product by production volume
Packaging paper and board

Industry Insights

Paper and pulp industry in Europe

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Market size

Largest paper producers in the world
Distribution of the production capacity of paper worldwide in 2019 by country
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The pulp and paper industry has a significant presence in North America, Europe, and East Asian countries. China, the United States, and Japan combined account for more than half of the world's production. Not surprisingly, China is a leading paper producer, consumer, and exporter. Paper and pulp are the most sustainable and renewable packaging materials, and because of their recyclable properties, many countries have a massive market for paper product recycling.

Leading forestry and paper companies by market capitalization
Paper industry UK
Pulp and paper industry in the U.S.

Market segments

Packaging paper is the market leader
Demand volume of graphic paper products in Europe in selected years from 2010 and 2020* (in 1,000 metric tons)
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The paper and the forest-products industry is growing, despite the declining need for graphic paper (newsprint, printing, and writing). Paper packaging and other hygiene products have filled this gap. Packaging is the largest paper consuming sector: more than half of the paper produced is used as packaging material. The demand for fiber-based products is expected to increase globally, and as a result, to expand the recycled fiber market.

Estimated production capacity of paperboard
Packaging paper in Europe
Estimated rise in toilet paper revenue by country

Industry trends

Changes in the paper-based packaging industry
Breakdown of the corrugated boxes demand in Japan in 2020, by market
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Due to the increase in online consumerism and the need for lightweight, reusable packaging, the corrugated packaging industry is proliferating. Over the years, this trend will continue to evolve, and the demand for packaging solutions (especially corrugated cardboard formats) that allow goods to be transported in greener packages is expected to grow. Additionally, the relatively small pulp textile market is expected to grow in the coming years.

Import volume of old corrugated container Japan
Production volume of corrugated fiberboard in Italy
Paper disposables in the United Kingdom (UK)

Industry leaders

International Paper Company is the world's largest pulp and paper producer
Leading paper companies worldwide in 2018 based on paper and paperboard production (in million metric tons)
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The leading global pulp and paper companies by revenue are International Paper from the United States, Oji Paper and Nippon Paper Group from Japan, and UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso from Finland. Most of the leading companies have operations in several countries for ease of managing various processes. International Paper Company is the world's largest producer of paper, fiber-based packaging, and pulp, and has acquired many paper mills over the years.

International Paper
Revenue of UPM
Sales of Nine Dragons Paper in China

Industry Definition

The pulp and paper category offers data on pulp and paper products, as well as fiber recycling and processing. Within this sector, Statista provides information about the production, consumption, and trade volumes of various grades and types of pulp and paper products, as well as the leading companies. Data on a global, regional, and country scale is available.

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