EUGROPA Facts&Figures 2012




The last years are characterized with a continuing stagnation of economic growth. The necessary cut back and the growing unemployment in almost all European countries indicates a persistent economic recession. The financial markets move between hope and fear. After Greece, now Cyprus needs ‘help', with the threat that more Southern European countries will follow. Real recovery of the European economy is taking longer than what was expected. The uncertainty about the duration of the recession and the high youth unemployment leads to social insecurity and political instability in a number of Southern European countries.

The positive economy in the USA provides hope for a recovery for the European economies. The political discussion in Europe focuses on balance in maintaining the maximum budget shortage of the agreed 3 %, or the acceptation of a larger shortage to consequently stimulate the economy.




General Trend Paper Consumption

Like known, there is a clear connection between the use of printed paper and the development of the Gross National Product. In times of economic recession there is traditional a significant decrease in the use of paper. Since 2008 there has also been a shift from printed to more electronical communication, which has a direct negative effect on the paper usage. Both effects have caused a strong decrease of the paper consumption over the last 5 years.






The last year was again an extremely difficult year for the graphical industry. The consequences of the movement from printed to electronical communication like in previous years has had a strong influence on the entire business. As result, a large number of bankruptcies and further consolidations occurred. The number of print shops in most European countries have scaled down to half their original number since the millennium. However, there are chances for companies that have timely reacted to the changing market conditions, implement the new printing techniques and make use of the new communicational opportunities. Unfortunately, this perspective is only for a small number of innovative companies.




The decreasing demand for paper means for almost all European paper wholesalers decreasing markets and revenue. New activities produce hardly enough compensation for the decreasing paper sales. Not only the graphical paper market is shrinking, but also the office paper market. On top of this the market share of the total European paper wholesales in office paper decreased from 56% to 55%.

The information that is known about the financial results of the companies show that they are under heavy pressure. Not only the diminishing market but the shrinking margin causes the significant decrease in the revenue. In addition to the weak financial health of many customers, which leads to bankruptcies and extra costs for the restructuring of the companies.

It is pleasing is know that in 2012 no members in our organisation went bankrupt. The named developments have led to the decrease in the number of wholesalers, in particular by the continuation of further consolidation.


Merchant statistics

The figures collected by the National Union of Paper wholesalers represent 90% of the total market of paper merchants. In most West European countries the percentage is closer to 100% though in a number of central and West European countries it is under the 90%.

In almost all West European countries sales decreased more than 5% with a relatively good exception being Germany with only 3%. Only a few positive exceptions of countries with growing sales are in East Europe. The total volume of sold tons of paper through members of EUGROPA decreased with 5% to 8.4 million ton with only a sale value of 8.6 billion, a decrease of 7%!  With this, it should be taken into consideration that Russia has not been consolidated in the statistics.  Elsewhere in this annual report information about the Russian market has been included. The reported stock sales decreased in 2012 with 4% to 4.5 million ton and the indent sales with 7% to 3.9 million ton. As a result the percentage stock sales rose in comparison with total sales with 1% to 54%.

The volume loss was considerable in all products group. In the commodities the sales decreased with Woodfree Coated sheets the most with 6%, Woodfree Uncoated sheets with 5% and Cut-sizes with 3%. With the most  ‘specialities' the sales decreased with comparable percentages.





You will find detailed information per country for three important product groups: woodfree uncoated sheets, woodfree uncoated cut sizes and woodfree coated sheets. These figures include also the sales of similar products purchased outside Europe (non Euro-Graph countries). Sales via the merchant warehouses are given as a percentage of total tonnage sold. Furthermore the Euro-Graph deliveries per country for this specific product group are indicated.

The merchant sales as a percentage  of the Euro-Graph deliveries are also given taking into account the stock changes every month. The stock level figures finally indicate the average stock level in the merchant's warehouse during the year. The graphs per country show the moving monthly average figures.






Total sales of the European merchants in tons were about 5% lower compared to 2011 with 1,001 million tons. The stock share, deliveries via the merchant's warehouse, increased a bit to 70% (was 69%). All over Europe merchants sold about 82% of the tonnage in this product group, the share sold via merchants differs to a large extent from country to country. Remember: imports from CEE countries are now also included in the Euro-Graph figures (since 01.01.06).

The stock level  was about 2% lower than 2011 in Europe, with an average of 110.292 tons.



The total tonnage sold through merchants was with 1,599 million tons all over Europe 3% lower compared to 2011, of which on average 69% was sold via the merchant's warehouse. The total share of the merchant's sales in this product group is based on the available figures about 55%. Again: remember that imports from CEE countries are now also included in the Euro-Graph figures (since 01.01.06).

We have to take into account that imports from non-CEPI countries by merchants do play an important role here and are included in the merchants sales figures. Stock levels were on average about 4% lower than in 2011 with an average of 98.838 tons in Europe.





In this important product group 84 % on average is sold via merchants (85% last year). The total sales of the paper merchants in Europe were 6% lower with 3,181 million tons, the stock share being 57%. This share via the merchant's warehouse varies substantially from 39% in Belgium and 41% in Germany to 70% in Spain and even 79% in Sweden. Total Euro-Graph deliveries decreased with 4%, to 3,836 million tons.  The stock level decreased with 5% to 274.063 tons.