Delegates at last week’s BIR convention in Rome were told that export demand for paper would remain firm.
Although the paper recycling industry was feeling the effects of a “seriously threatening” eurozone crisis, the paper sector could take comfort from the knowledge that China was set to remain “a growth market for us in the years to come” according to BIR paper division president Ranjit Baxi from J&H Sales in the UK.
However, he warned that there would be “ups and downs” along the way.
In his presentation, he highlighted a number of challenges for exporters, including the recent increase in freight rates, but also confirmed that volumes imported by China in the first three months of 2012 had soared to 7.24 million tonnes from 6.57 million tonnes in the same period last year.
He also reminded exporters of the need to appreciate Chinese buyers’ requirements for quality material.
In the BIR plastics committee session, it was noted that there was low demand for plastics scrap from India, partly due to a 10 per cent depreciation in the value of the rupee in the previous two months.
Belgium-based Gemini Corporation’s Surenda Borad who is chair of the plastics committee, warned that sharp rather than sustainable increases in freight rates had served to undermine some of the credibility of shipping companies in the recycling industry. However, for US exporters to major Asian ports, freight rate hikes had been less pronounced than in Europe.
Veolia Proprete’s Gregory Cardot said that in Asia, prices of secondary plastics are under pressure and could drop further for June and July.