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Markets and deliveries

Demand for cartonboard increased slightly in Western Europe, but it accelerated significantly in Eastern Europe reaching 3% growth in 2016. Demand for cartonboard in North America increased by almost 2% in 2016 after slight decline in the previous year. Strong demand in Asia Pacific continued and consumption increased by 4%. 

Containerboard demand remained healthy in 2016. The growth rate decreased slightly due to overall uncertainty in economic environment. Demand growth for corrugated board remained stable in our European focus countries and China in 2016.

World chemical market pulp demand increased around 3% during 2016 compared to a year ago. Softwood pulp demand was up by 3.5%, and hardwood pulp by 2.5% (eucalyptus +5.7%) compared to 2015. Global demand decreased in North and Latin America, Western Europe and Japan, but increased in all other regions driven by China growth of +11.1%. The global increase in supply was concentrated on the hardwood segment.

Global market pulp capacity rose around 3.7% compared to a year ago. Expansions were focused in Latin America and Western Europe. Hardwood capacity accounted just over half of the gain in 2016 with growth concentrated in Latin America. Softwood was spread between North America, Latin America and Western Europe. The overall global demand-capacity balance stood at 91.3%, down 0.7 percent points from 2015.

Softwood sawn demand remained on good level in 2016, decreasing slightly in Europe but more than compensated by increases in North America and Asia. The Middle East and North African markets were oversupplied with depressed prices. Imports to Egypt continued to suffer from deficit of hard currencies and devaluation of local Pound. Australian sawn wood market remained active with prices stabilizing during the year. Japanese housing market was active and stronger yen supported improved prices. There were no major structural changes in Europe and softwood sawn industry is focusing on replacement investments rather than on adding capacity.

Structural erosion of paper demand continued unchanged in Europe and North America during 2016. Paper demand in 2016 was 4% weaker than in 2015 in Europe and North America. Demand in Asia declined by 2% compared with 2015. Global paper consumption was 3% lower in 2016 than 2015. However, variation between paper grades is wide. Uncoated fine paper declined globally less than 1% whereas coated mechanical declined 8% compared with 2015.

Deliveries and production
2016 2015 Change % 2016–2015
Board deliveries, 1 000 tonnes 3 376 3 045 10.9%
Board production, 1 000 tonnes 3 775 3 394 11.2%
Corrugated packaging deliveries, million m2 1 082 1 112 -2.7%
Market pulp deliveries, 1 000 tonnes 2 068 1 873 10.4%
Wood product deliveries, 1 000 m3 4 814 4 490 7.2%
Paper deliveries, 1 000 tonnes 5 141 5 778 -11.0%
Paper production, 1 000 tonnes 5 155 5 794 -11.0%
Estimated consumption of board, pulp, sawn softwood, and paper in 2016
Tonnes, million Europe North America Asia and Oceania
Consumer board 10.6 9.3 27.8
Containerboard 30.6 31.4 77.7
Corrugated board (billion m2)1 9.6 n/a 70.4
Chemical market pulp 18.0 7.7 28.9
Sawn softwood (million m3) 86.6 91.6 n/a
Newsprint 6.5 3.4 11.0
Uncoated magazine paper 3.2 1.5 0.3
Coated magazine paper 4.9 2.7 3.3
Coated fine paper 5.3 3.8 11.9
Uncoated fine paper 7.5 7.9 20.5
1 European focus markets (Baltics, FI, PL, RU, SE) and China.
Source: Pöyry, ICCA, RISI, Euro-Graph, PPPC, Stora Enso, UNECE

The group’s board deliveries totalled 3 376 000 tonnes in 2016, which is 331 000 tonnes higher compared to a year ago mainly due to ramp-up of Varkaus kraftliner mill, Beihai board mill and higher deliveries from Ostrołęka board mill, only partly offset by lower volumes due to divested Barcelona board mill. Corrugated board deliveries decreased slightly to 1 082 000 m2. Market pulp deliveries increased by 195 000 tonnes or 10% to 2 068 000 tonnes mainly due to increase in Oulu integrated pulp mill, Sunila pulp mill and Montes del Plata pulp mill. Wood products deliveries increased by 324 000 m3 to 4 814 000 m3. Paper deliveries totalled 5 141 000 tonnes, down 637 000 tonnes or -11% from 2015 mainly due to divestments of Kabel Mill, Arapoti Mill and Suzhou Mill site and conversion of Varkaus Mill from office paper to kraftliner in autumn 2015.

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