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German Paper Industry -- 2009 Results

Dusseldorf, Germany, 24 February 2010 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Sales in the German paper industry fell by 16% to EUR 12.5 billion in the economic crisis year 2009. The paper industry has now come out of the trough and the contract situation is improving markedly. Only a few companies failed to survive in year 2009, said Wolfgang Palm, president of the German Pulp and Paper Association (VDP) at the annual press conference of the association. He added that because of rising costs, companies were being forced to adjust prices to safeguard jobs.

Overall production and sales had fallen in 2009 by 8% to around 21 million tons, but it will be several years before the industry attained the precrisis level again, said Palm. There were great differences in the way the various paper grades were faring. While the sales of packaging paper and cardboard had more or less stabilized with a decline in sales for the year of about 3%, the surplus capacities in graphic papers were being clearly felt. The market for magazines and newspapers was still weak and sales there were down 14%. The manufacturers of hygiene paper had been barely touched by the crisis. Most manufacturers of technical and special papers had suffered from the 13% drop in sales, although their order situation had improved considerably.

The German paper industry produces 21 million tons of paper and is still the fourth largest paper industry in the world. Moreover, it has consolidated its top position in Europe and enjoys a market share of 24%. A good 43% of production is exported, 65% to Western Europe and 23% to Eastern Europe.


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