Sweden's pulp, paper and paperboard output in 2011 down 0.9% year-over-year as export markets weakened, but the year-over-year comparison would have been worse if 2010 production was not limited by a strike, reports Swedish trade group

LOS ANGELES , May 25, 2012 () –

Production of pulp, paper and paperboard fell last year in Sweden by 0.9% compared with 2010, according to the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (Skogsindustrierna), reported Lesprom Network on May 25.

Paper and paperboard output in 2011 dropped to just below 11.3 million tonnes, while pulp production was down to 3.7 million tonnes, according to a report in the Nordic Paper Journal.

Sweden’s output of graphic papers decreased last year compared to 2010, with newsprint off 2.2% to 2.1 million tonnes and mechanical paper off 2.5% to 2 million tonnes, Lesprom Network reported.

The country’s 2011 market pulp exports of slightly less than 3.1 million tonnes reflected a 4% year-over-year decline.

However, China became Sweden’s third biggest pulp export destination last year, with Swedish exports of chemical pulp to Asia up by nearly 33% to 486,000 tonnes, reported Lesprom Network.

Exports of pulp from Sweden to the European Union (EU) countries, excluding the Nordic region, were down 9% to 2 million tonnes due to a decline in paper and paperboard production in the EU.

Paper and paperboard exports from Sweden to the EU fell by 3% compared with 2010; although exports to Germany, Sweden’s biggest export market, remained steady at 2 million tonnes, Lesprom Network reported.

The year-over-year declines, however, would have been sharper if the Swedish Paper Workers Union had not gone on strike in spring 2010. Without the strike, 2011 pulp output would have fallen 1.5% and paper and paperboard production would have been down 2%.

Last year got off to a good start but volumes later faltered due to a weakening in many of Sweden’s export markets, reported Lesprom Network.

The primary source of this article is Lesprom Network, Moscow, Russia, on May 25, 2012.


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