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Pulp Industry - statistics & facts

Pulp is a natural fibrous material that is obtained from wood and other cellulosic materials. It is the major raw material used to produce paper, tissue, and board. In 2018, the global production of pulp amounted to almost 177.6 million metric tons. With some of the world's most forested areas, North America and Europe are the largest pulp producing regions, accounting for almost two thirds of global production.

The main pulping processes

Although there are many different types of pulp, the industry can be broadly categorized into three main pulping processes: mechanical, chemical, and semi-chemical pulp. In 2018, approximately 144.2 million metric tons of chemical pulp was produced worldwide. The chemical pulping process accounts for the largest share of the global pulp market by a large margin. Mechanical pulp production was a distant second, amounting to only 27.9 million metric tons in the same year.

Global pulp trade

As the world's largest paper producing nation, it is not very surprising that China was also the largest importer of chemical pulp in the world, importing over three billion metric tons in 2019, which was far more than the combined import volume of chemical pulp from the other nine leading chemical pulp importing countries. The exports of chemical pulp were more equally distributed across several countries, with South Africa and the United States ranking first and second, respectively. Along with production, the trade volume of mechanical pulp was considerably lower than chemical pulp, with New Zealand and Canada highlighted as the top exportingand importing countries of this product, respectively.

Consumption of pulp

During the past decade, the global consumption of pulp has decreased slightly, from a high of 184 million metric tons in 2011 to 177 million metric tons in 2018. Tissue and fluff production accounts for nearly half of the global demand for market pulp, while the production of printing and writing paper is the second largest end use of this fiber.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Pulp industry".


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