After a relatively modest start in 2021, labelstock demand in Europe boomed in the second quarter. Compared to the same quarter of 2020, consumption of self-adhesive label materials in Europe was 9.3% higher, with label demand already peaked in Q2 2020 with an annual growth rate of 8% due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The demand peak in the spring of 2021 correlated with the general economic recovery in Europe as demonstrated by the 13.2% growth of the EU economy compared to Q2 in 2020. 

Contrary to 2020, labelstock demand growth was led by volume paper roll demand, which increased by a record 14.6% year-on-year, as opposed to a 4.2% decline in demand for filmic roll label materials, compared to the peak in Q2 2020 (when non-paper rolls registered a record increase of 22.4%). The peak in paper roll demand already announced itself in the first quarter, when reports came in about paper shortages in the supply chain, after a period of destocking. 

Overall, in the first half of 2021, self-adhesive labelstock demand in Europe grew by 5.4% compared to the first half of 2020 (plus 7.7% for paper rolls, and a ‘modest’ 0.3% for filmic rolls).

Regionally, demand growth in the first half of 2021 was led by strong, double-digit year-on-year growth rates recorded in UK & Ireland, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe. A year ago, all three regions ‘underperformed’ compared to Northern and Central Europe, which peaked with above 15% growth rates in Q2 2020 and recorded substantial declines compared to this excessive period one year later.