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Recovered paper: 2018 could be ‘a very trying and testing year’

Global – The Chinese government’€™s expressed intention of banning imports of certain scrap materials by the year-end will have ‘€˜a serious impact on global trade in recyclables, both in terms of price and volumes’€™, it is contended in the latest ‘€˜World Mirror on Recovered Paper’€™ from the BIR world recycling organisation.

At the same time, there is ‘great concern’ within recovered fibre circles about China’s proposed reduction of acceptable contamination levels from the current 1.5% to 0.3%. And if, as some experts anticipate, Chinese mills’ import allocations for the coming year were to be reduced by 25%, then 2018 would be ‘a very trying and testing year for fibre exporters to China’.

In reponse to all these developments and fears, exporters have been focusing on developing alternative outlets to China and on exploring new markets, with Turkey and countries in South East Asia providing more business in recent times.

Of late, for example, Turkey is understood to have been importing on average 70 000 tonnes of recovered fibre per month. And it is added: ‘Prices have fallen to such low and more affordable levels that some Indonesian mills have started to place small orders.’ Europe’s paper and board industry remains busy.

On the downside for UK exporters, however, there has been a significant shortage of drivers for European road haulage destinations.

In Spain, conversion of the newsprint machine run by Holmen Paper in Madrid into a packaging machine operated by International Paper has undermined local deinking demand and pushed prices sharply lower.

This article is based on the latest World Mirror on Recovered Paper produced by the BIR world recycling organisation for the benefit of its members.

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