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Desperate shipping problems hitting UK recovered paper exports

United Kingdom – The UK, Europe’€™s largest exporter of recovered fibre by far, shipped more overseas in October than in any month since February, according to latest statistics from the Confederation of Paper Industries and HM Revenue & Customs.

The 479 515 tonnes easily outstripped the 394 922 tonnes of the same month last year and took the running total for 2016 to 4.103 million tonnes – an increase of 2.1% over the 4.02 million tonnes of January-October 2015.

But while these latest data put UK exporters of recovered paper on course to beat their overseas shipment record set last year, traders point out that ‘desperate’ container availability problems are likely to affect the figures for the final two months of 2016.

In October, the UK was boosted by a 52.8% year-on-year surge in exports of corrugated & kraft to 286 724 tonnes whereas overseas shipments of mixed & mechanical and of ‘other grades’ fell, respectively, 6.8% to 177 395 tonnes and 8.9% to 15 397 tonnes.

UK collections of all grades of recovered paper amounted to 696 944 tonnes in October – the first time the monthly total came anywhere close to matching the 700 000-plus tonnes collected in each of the first three months of this year.

Across the first 10 months of 2016, UK mill usage of recovered fibre was 8.2% lower than in January-October 2015 at 2.556 million tonnes.

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