Spanish pulp, paper industry reports revenue up 34% year-over-year to €6.99B, but production of paper, paperboard down 4.6% and pulp down 13.1%, on high energy costs, Russian invasion of Ukraine, high volumes of stocks in the supply chain

Sample article from our Pulp & Paper Industry

September 14, 2023 (press release) –

·       Billing reaches 6,991 million euros, 34% more, although the results are weighed down by a scenario of strong price increases.

·       The production of paper and cardboard is reduced by 4.6% and that of pulp by 13.1%, due to the increase in energy costs, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the high volumes of stocks in the supply chain. supply and drought.

·       Despite the decrease in production, paper and cardboard consumption grows by 2%, and pulp consumption reaches 1.9 million tons.

·       The investment-to-billing ratio of the paper sector has risen more than 1.5% in the last year, reaching almost 7%.

·       The sector has 16,968 direct jobs, 1.6% more than last year, and around 84,800 indirect jobs that generate wealth and contribute to the socio-territorial structure of our country due to its implementation in rural areas.

The paper industry in Spain has experienced a decline in the production of pulp, paper and cardboard as a consequence, mainly, of the increase in energy costs, the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the reduction in demand due to the high volumes of stocks in the chain of supply and, additionally, due to the impact of the drought on the pulp manufacturing processes. Despite this very challenging context, the sector's turnover has experienced significant growth, reaching 6,991 million euros, 34% more than the previous year, although the results are hampered by a scenario of strong price increases that has affected the entire value chain.

The consumption of paper, cardboard and pulp continues to increase despite the drop in production


With a total production of 6,354,648 tons of paper and cardboard, the 69 Spanish paper factories have reduced production by 4.6% compared to the previous year. In this way, Spain, with 7.3% of production, is positioned as the sixth largest producer of paper and cardboard in the European Union, behind Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland and France.

For its part, pulp production has been reduced by 13.1%. The 1,544,000 tons produced, 232,000 tons less than the previous year, have been mainly affected by the drought. In this context, with 4.8% of European production, Spain is the fifth pulp producing country in the European Union, after Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Germany.


Paper and cardboard consumption data show a growth of 2% compared to 2021, thus placing total consumption in Spain at 7,038,927 tons. In the European comparison, with the latest data available (2021), Spain positioned itself as the sixth largest consumer of paper in volume in the European Union, behind Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Poland. Specifically, our country recorded a consumption of 141.4 Kg per capita.

Regarding pulp consumption figures, these reached 1,957,000 tons, 7.4% more than in the previous year. These data mark the upward trend in the consumption of this product, which also contrasts with the drop suffered in 2020 as a result of the arrival of the pandemic. The European comparison positions Spain as the seventh consumer of pulp behind Sweden, Finland, Germany, Italy, France, and Poland.

Raw Materials

The 10 pulp mills located in Spain used 4,989,638 m 3 of raw material, 8.5% less than last year, to produce a total of 1,544,443 tons of pulp. 94% of the wood supplied to the sector is of local origin, thus contributing to the generation of employment and local wealth, mainly in rural environments.

Last year, Spanish paper factories recycled 5,057,998 tons of used paper, which makes the recycling rate (paper that is recycled as raw material in paper factories based on the consumption of paper and cardboard) at 79.9 %. Placing us as the third European country with the highest recycling volume.

The industry increases its commitment to innovation and continuous improvement


Paper and cardboard produced in Spain and exported to foreign markets has experienced a reduction of 11.7%, a figure that contrasts with the increase achieved in 2021, which reached 8.9%. Altogether, last year 2,492,620 tons were exported, which represents around 40% of the total production of paper and cardboard. As for imports, these have increased by 3.6%, reaching 3,176,000 tons.

Pulp export has decreased considerably, reaching the figure of 0.80 million tons, 25.4% less than in 2021. Likewise, imports have increased by 8.2%, reaching the figure of 1,221 ,000 tons.


The investment-to-billing ratio of the paper sector continues to rise, reaching almost 7%. These figures are a reflection of the industry's commitment to innovation and continuous improvement of the production process. In this sense, investments in the paper industry, a total of 485 million euros in 2022, have continued to be allocated to innovation and technological renewal (33.5%), to increasing production capacity (17.4%). and to quality and environment (17.5%).


The activity carried out by the pulp and paper factories in Spain has contributed to the increase in stable employment and wealth in those areas in which they operate. In 2022, the sector has 16,968 direct jobs, 1.6% more than the previous year, and around 84,800 indirect jobs that generate wealth and contribute to socio-territorial structuring. Likewise, the increase in the development of new types of paper has made it possible to lead important technological advances to meet the new demands of the national and international market.

The sustainability of paper

The paper industry's commitment to sustainability is marked by four axes: sustainable forest management, an efficient and responsible production process, the generation of wealth and contribution to the quality of life, and leadership in recovery and recycling.

Paper products are natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Along with these attributes, its versatility also stands out, its wide capillarity to be present transversally in various industries, as well as its great capacity to replace other materials.

Likewise, the continuous advances in research and technological innovation promoted by companies in the sector have helped to advance in the face of important environmental challenges that are positioning paper as a product that can champion the current challenges of the circular economy.


ASPAPEL (Spanish Association of Pulp, Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers) is a state-wide professional organization that brings together companies in the pulp and paper sector. The associated companies account for more than 90% of the sector's production. The objective of the association is to contribute to the competitive and sustainable development of associated companies and to promote the image of the sector, its companies and products.

The paper and cardboard industry in Spain has a turnover of close to 7,000 million euros annually, producing 6.3 million tons of paper and 1.5 million tons of cellulose. It directly employs more than 16,968 professionals and 84,800 indirectly, and has positioned Spain as the third largest paper and cardboard recycler country in the European Union (data as of the end of the year 2022).


ASPAPEL Press Office:

Evercom | Marqués de Riscal 11, 1° Pl 28010| Tel: 915779272

Contact person: Adrián Rodicio| Email:

            José Tamarit| Email:

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