BIR warns that Chinese National Sword and high container rates nearly killed recovered paper trade


Speakers at the recent BIR conference in Hong Kong warned that a combination of the Chinese National Sword programme and the high cost of shipping almost fatally wounded the market for recycled paper.

According to BIR Paper Division president Reinhold Schmidt, the “explosion” in container rates seen earlier this year “had nearly dealt a death blow to the shipping of recovered paper”.


With container rates rising by $1,000 per container, equivalent to $40 per tonne, BIR president Ranjit Baxi said that greater dialogue was required with the shipping industry to ensure it understood the impact of these steep increases on the recovered paper industry.

He added: “We never have an audience with shipping lines.”

However, he also warned that European traders and recyclers of paper needed to raise quality “a notch higher” in order to meet China’s desire to eliminate incoming material that was contaminated and unsuitable for use as a secondary raw material.