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UK exports: mixed paper lower, OCC higher

United Kingdom – The harsh realities of China’s import restrictions are clear to see in latest statistics from the UK’s Confederation of Paper Industries and HM Revenue & Customs.

While UK exports of recovered fibre totalled 407 706 tonnes in January this year for an increase of 1.3% over the figure for the opening month of 2017, overseas shipments of mixed paper retreated 21.1% from 146 661 tonnes to 115 788 tonnes when comparing the same periods.

China, the UK’s leading mixed paper outlet for many years, is no longer accepting imports of this grade. Meanwhile, UK exports of OCC climbed 14.4% to 244 098 tonnes in January 2018 from 213 297 tonnes a year earlier.

The UK is established as Europe’s largest exporter of recovered fibre and shipped out a total of 4.732 million tonnes in 2017, including 1.441 million tonnes of mixed paper and 2.698 million tonnes of OCC.

UK mills consumed 267 530 tonnes of recovered fibre in the first month of 2018 for a year-on-year increase of 5.9%. Their stock coverage at the end of January averaged 1.3 weeks at the prevailing rate of usage – slightly above the 2017 peak level of 1.2 weeks.

UK fibre collections were up 2.7% in January this year at 667 969 tonnes.

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