The volume of recovered paper consumed by German paper mills declined by 1.5 per cent in 2011 to 16.024 million tonnes, according to the German Pulp and Paper Association (VDP). Consumption of other fibre sources declined even more: German mills used 4.606 million tonnes of paper pulp, down 1.8 per cent, while consumption of mechanical pulp was 4.9 per cent lower at 1.330 million tonnes, according to VDP.
The decrease in fibre consumption was reflected in the declines in production and deliveries. Paper and board shipments were down year-on-year by 1.9 per cent at 22.6 million tonnes. Revenues, on the other hand, rose by 7 per cent to €15.3bn. Paper companies’ earnings continued to be negatively affected by high raw material and energy costs, said VDP. The difficult market conditions had accelerated the restructuring process in the graphic paper sector, the association added.