After a second consecutive year of only 1% growth in 2012, world paper and board demand is predicted to rise 3% in 2013. Accelerating economic growth will be a significant factor in this positive forecast, although we are showing only a modest acceleration. More important will be our assumption that consumer inventories will stabilize, or even rise, as underlying consumption improves. Also, we are expecting that the graphic paper share losses to electronic alternatives will relent to some degree next year. Therefore, growth in global paper and board demand will move closer to the increase in the general economy compared to 2011-2012.
The growth engines for the world paper and board industry will continue to be tissue and packaging. World tissue consumption is forecast to increase 4.5% in 2013, or slightly above the annual pace of the previous three years, and will be 6 million tonnes above its 2007 level or 22% higher. Global containerboard demand is predicted to rise 4% in 2013, following 2.5% annual growth in 2011-2012, with the growth relative to 2007 being 23 million tonnes or an 18% gain. Other paper and board usage, led by boxboard and specialty papers, is also expected to advance 4% in 2013, compared to 2% annual increases in 2011-2012. Other paper and board demand will be 9 million tonnes above 2007 in 2013, translating into an 11% rise.