What are the countries that produce the most paper in the world?
Paper and paper production have gone a long way from its early days as the ancient papyrus. Today, it is a billion dollar global industry that is both an economic boon for many nations and a threat to the environment.
In this list, we will take a look at the countries that produce the most paper in the world by the annual metric tonnage. This article and the figures presented here only show the aggregate tonnage of paper production per country without specifying the type of paper (i.e. printing paper, coated/uncoated paper, cardboard, etc) or the manner and source of the production.
One of the biggest challenges that came with writing this article was finding up-to-date, accurate, and credible figures for paper production by country. The figures we have used come from the 2013 global paper production data of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and presented in the paper by the World Watch Institute.
So, which countries are the leading providers of the world’s paper supply? Read on to know more! Don’t forget to check out our other article on the 8 countries that produce the most pistachios in the world!
10.6 million tons
Ranking eighth on the list, and ahead of Brazil by about 200,000 tons is Finland. The pulp and paper industry dominate two-thirds of all the Finnish forest products industry and is one of the most important exports of the country.
10.8 million tons
Sweden has always been in the list of the top 8 countries that produce the most paper in the world. In fact, pulp and paper production – both for domestic consumption and exports – is one of the largest industries in the country and is among the Scandinavian nation’s most important forest products.
11.1 million tons
Canada’s pulp and paper industry is one of its leading economic drivers. The industry is mostly centered in the Ontario and Quebec regions. Like most every pulp and paper industry in the world, the production in Canada declined over the years because of decreasing demands for paper at the rise of virtual technology.
5. South Korea
11.8 million tons
South Korea has recently been experiencing a decline in their domestic paper demand but this has not affected the production or the export industry. Their balanced demands for domestic and export production have kept South Korea in the top 8 list of the countries that produce the most paper in the world.
22.4 million tons
Despite the decline in demand and production for graphing papers, Germany’s pulp and paper industry remains afloat thanks to the increase in demand for packaging and hygienic paper. Aside from being one of the top producers of paper products in the world, Germany is the world’s top exporter of paper.
26.1 million tons
Japan’s pulp and paper industry is only its 17th in their list of the largest domestic industries but it does not stop Japan from being one of the top 8 countries that produce the most paper in the world. Their largest export partner for paper products is South Korea, with 17% of all their paper exports going to their neighboring country.
2. United States
74.2 million tons
Leaving Japan behind by about 50 million tons in production quantity is the United States. The US is not just the 2nd in our list of 8 countries that produce the most paper in the world; the United States is also the 2nd largest consumer, second only to China.
101.1 million tons
China’s rise in the global paper and pulp industry was recent and rather rapid. Before 2009, China was not even in the top ranks of countries that produce the most paper in the world. Today, China has exceeded former number one, USA, by almost 25 million tons, claiming number one spot on the list of countries that produce the most paper in the world.