Export trends March to May


This guide looks at past exports from UK to worldwide destinations.




On the surface, the average amount of exports over the last three years looks barely unchanged, but the picture underneath is a little different.

In May 2017, global exports fell by 10.69% to 222,652 tonnes from 249,329 tonnes in April.

But May 2016 saw a different pattern with exports in May rising by 13.94% to an admittedly lower 191,369 tonnes from 167,946 tonnes in April.

May 2015 though was down 5.26% to 195,377 from 206,238 tonnes in April.


April is generally a weaker month for exports of OCC, probably as a result of Easter mostly falling within this month causing disruption to market patterns.

However, in April 2017 exports of OCC were still at a very strong 249,329 tonnes despite being down on March’s 268,915 tonnes.

The same cannot be said of April 2016 when just 167,946 tonnes was exported globally compared to 218,284 tonnes in the preceding March.

April 2015 was effectively no change on March when 206,238 tonnes was exported from 206,545 tonnes in the month before.


March appears to be quite a mixed month, even if the 3-year average barely shows no change.

In March 2017, exports increased by 28.55% reaching 268,915 tonnes compared to February’s 209,179 tonnes.

But March 2016 was completely different with 218,284 tonnes exported, when an exceptional 308,458 tonnes was sent abroad in February.

In March 2015 though, exports barely changed on February when 206,545 tonnes was shipped away from these shores compared to 205,951 tonnes a month earlier.

Polymers of ethylene**




There appears little difference between May and April when comparing the average for the last three years, but the reality is somewhat different.

In May 2017, exports worldwide were 33,280 tonnes, down 17.43% on April’s 40,308 tonnes.

May 2016 saw 55,009 tonnes exported down just 3.08% on the month before.

But May 2015 saw a rather large 61,344 tonnes exported, up 22,16% on April’s 50,216 tonnes.


Export volumes in April tend to be broadly similar to those seen in March, according to the last three years.

Clearly, the China situation may change patterns this year.

In April 2017, global exports of this commodity code were down to 40,308 tonnes from 42,057 tonnes in March.

April 2016 saw a very strong 56,762 tonnes exported, but this was still lower than March’s 58,587 tonnes.

But in 2015, April was slightly up with 50,216 tonnes exported compared to 49,153 tonnes in March.


If the last two years are anything to go by, there would appear to be a pattern that global exports of this commodity code tend to fall in March.

But 2015 was a rather large exception.

In that year, 49,153 tonnes was exported, but this followed a very weak February total of 35,373 tonnes (although this would now look more reasonable when compared to the end of 2017 monthly totals).

March 2016 saw 58,587 tonnes exported, down from a very strong 70,594 tonnes in February.

While 42,057 tonnes was exported in March 2017, down from 50,005 tonnes a month earlier.


* Based on HMRC export and dispatch data for the commodity code 4707100 – recovered waste and scrap paper or paperboard of unbleached kraft paper, corrugated paper or corrugated paperboard. This data includes all exports from UK to EU destinations and non-EU destinations.

** Based on HMRC export and dispatch data for the commodity code 3915100 – waste, parings, scrap, of polymers of ethylene. This data includes all exports from UK to EU destinations and non-EU destinations.

*** The export tonnages as recorded by HMRC and collated by REB Market Intelligence are converted into a percentage difference between the two months mentioned above. An average of this data is given and then an up or down indicator for this average is given. However, there may be variance in the annual data, and an explanation is given above. This data is given as a indicator of the possible trend that may be seen in the upcoming months, but past performance cannot be used as an indicator of future performance. Therefore, Hanicke Robins Sanderson Ltd can accept no liability for commercial decisions that may have been based on this data, or any other data given in this report.

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