The latest data from HMRC shows that April 2020 was a tough month for the recycled paper market.
With it being the first month of lockdown across Europe and Asia, exports fell for OCC, news & pam and mixed paper compared to March. Although all fell, there was a real slump for OCC and in particular news & pam.
OCC – Commodity code 470710
A total of 143,353 tonnes of OCC was exported from the UK in April down from March’s 220,316 tonnes. Even though March was the best month in a year, April was actually the lowest monthly total since we began collating this data in 2012.
Turkey was the predominant buyer with a relatively stable 47,999 tonnes compared to 48,803 tonnes in March.
Next best was Malaysia with 23,750 tonnes down from 35,425 tonnes in March.
India saw a huge drop to 16,568 tonnes from March’s 57,101 tonnes as a result of shipping restrictions.
Vietnam was the next highest destination with 14,379 tonnes down from 19,060 tonnes a month earlier.
The EU as a whole was next with 13,219 tonnes up from 4,942 tonnes in March. This was a reflection of European mills struggling to get domestic material and buying from the UK instead. France took half of this with 6,500 tonnes, Netherlands was next with 3,266 tonnes and 1,605 tonnes was exported to Spain.
Thailand took 11,094 tonnes up from 4,425 tonnes in March.
Exports to China fell to 8,841 tonnes from 15,906 tonnes in March continuing to show its decline as a major buyer.
OCC key destinations (47071000)
Mixed paper – Commodity code 470790
After a good March, exports of mixed paper held up better than those for OCC mentioned above.
A total of 103,336 tonnes was exported from the UK, which was lower than March’s 119,765 tonnes. However, this wasn’t a historic low as it was for OCC although it was towards the bottom end of typical monthly exports.
Despite the shipping restrictions, and possibly the high price of OCC in April, India was the main buyer of mixed taking 39,312 tonnes. This was down on March’s 64,345 tonnes though.
Exports to the EU were up to 21,830 tonnes from March’s 18,380 tonnes. Germany took 8,814 tonnes of this, Netherlands 6,060 and France 3,708 tonnes.
With 12,755 tonnes, Vietnam was the next best destination, up from 5,698 tonnes in March.
Turkey was next with 9,496 tonnes, up from 1,501 tonnes in March.
Thailand increased its purchases to 8,035 tonnes from 5,493 tonnes a month earlier.
Mixed paper key destinations (47079010)
News & Pams – Commodity code 470730
Exports of this grade dropped to 12,250 tonnes in April from 28,619 tonnes in March.
With 4,258 tonnes, India was the main buyer, but this was down from 16,782 tonnes in March.
Just 3,797 tonnes went to the EU, down from 5,870 tonnes in March. Spain bought most with 1,539 tonnes down from 2,002 tonnes a month before.
Turkey was the only other buyer over 1,000 tonnes with 1,105 tonnes, an increase on March’s 364,000 tonnes.
OCC historic data – all destinations
Mixed paper historic data – all destinations
N&P historic data – all destinations