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Window on annual paper

July 18, 2005

Window on annual paper
and film label stock trends
The European Pressure Sensitive Manufacturers Association’s (EPSMA) annual report always provides a useful snapshot of the European self-adhesive label market. And 2000 may prove to have been a vintage year. The total market grew by 7.6 percent, exceeding the 6.7 percent growth of 1999 to show the largest overall growth rate since 1994. The total market grew by 271 million square meters (the favored unit of measurement) to reach a total of 3,819 million square meters in 2000.
Paper rolls were a near-static 73 percent of the total, while non-paper rolls rose slightly to 17 percent. Paper sheets declined a bit to 7.3 percent of the total and non-paper sheets rose marginally to 2.7 per cent of the total.
There are marked differences in regional rates of growth. The Western Region (UK and Ireland) recorded the lowest overall growth of 6.3 percent.
The Central Region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium) as well as the Northern Region (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland) recorded overall growth rates of 6.5 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
The Southern Region (France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey) repeated the previous year’s level of 7.5 percent. The Eastern Region (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Russia and former Yugoslavia), grew impressively by 20.6 percent in total.
Over the seven-year period from 1994 to 2000, paper rolls have grown constantly at a rate of 40 percent. Non-paper rolls show a total relative growth of 95 percent during this period. Paper sheets have grown about 9 percent during this period. Half of this growth occurred in the final year in contrast to the relatively small fluctuations in the previous six years. Non-paper sheets actually declined in volume by some 3 percent during the seven years.
EPSMA’s report notes the increase in raw material costs during 2000, notably paper pulp and PP and PE granulates, although some paper raw materials fell in price. (Softwood pulp prices have dropped by some 35 percent during the past 12 months and now stand at $480 a ton.) However, it all brings meager relief to the industry. The costs for other grades, notably thermal grades, are expected to continue to increase, while increased energy costs represent an additional burden. While expecting further growth across all grades, it is not expected to reach 2000 levels. EPSMA notes that the market is already much weaker than at this time last year and there has been considerable destocking on the part of merchants.