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UK fibre buyer for China sharpens moisture focus

United Kingdom – A leading UK-based recovered fibre buyer for the Chinese market has outlined its stance on the increasingly vexed issue of moisture levels. Mark Lyndon Paper Enterprises (UK) Ltd (MLUK) , the procurement division of major Chinese linerboard producer Lee & Man Paper, has written to all of its suppliers – approaching 200 in total – to explain that it has ‘no alternative’ but to respond to ‘an unprecedented rise in the quantity of moisture being recorded in UK material’.

Although ‘recognised international standards’ allow for a maximum of 12% moisture, MLUK says it will allow moisture levels of 16% during the drier loading months of May to September.

However, the company adds: ‘Between 16% and 18%, we believe it is fair to make a claim for additional moisture before loading. Any moisture results averaging over 18% will result in the loads being cancelled.’ And in the generally wetter period from October to April, a claim for additional moisture before loading will be made between 16% and 20%, while any moisture results averaging over 20% will again result in the loads being cancelled.

To apply to both OCC and mixed paper, probe-based moisture testing will be conducted by the company’s own quality inspectors.

The issue of moisture has become particularly prominent following the extremely wet conditions prevailing in many parts of the UK earlier this year.

MLUK ‘frequently’ receives supplies with moisture levels in excess of 40%, a spokesman claims. The company is ‘trying to be fair’ but ‘something needs to happen about moisture levels’, he adds.

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