Recycled paper export report: December 2019

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Waste plastic will be used to make fuel for cargo ships
A container ship that is used to transport recyclable materials

Exports of OCC to China declined again in December, even lower than the previous record low seen in November, according to the latest HMRC data.

Although China hasn’t entirely disappeared as a trading destination for fibre, its days of consistently doing 180,000 tonnes per month or more seem gone.

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Imports of mixed paper to India hit record levels in December but a much tougher inspection regime suggests they will fall sharply.

Overall for the paper market, exports of OCC were up in December, while news & pam and mixed paper exports were down. With December effectively a shorter month due to Christmas, it isn’t entirely surprising if this is a quieter month, with OCC perhaps surprisingly breaking that trend.

OCC – Commodity code 470710

At 184,436 tonnes exports of OCC were up on December’s 156,699 tonnes. Perhaps surprisingly, it was also slightly up on December 2018 when a total of 180,313 tonnes of OCC left UK ports.

Turkey was the premier destination in December taking 69,334 tonnes up from 60,918 tonnes in November. We perhaps need to see a bit more evidence, but with Turkey being the main destination for three months in a row now, could this indicate that Turkey is now the main buyer in the market?

India was the next best destination with 50,925 tonnes, a significant improvement on November’s 29,945 tonnes.

Vietnam was strong again, as it had been in November, with 23,743 tonnes up a bit on 21,171 tonnes a month before.

China was just ahead of Thailand with 10,323 tonnes in December compared to 10,301 for the latter country. This was a fall for China from 10,838 tonnes in November and and increase for Thailand from 6,310 tonnes in the penultimate month of 2019.

EU destinations took 8,309 tonnes down from 9,218 tonnes in November. The Netherlands was the top destination with 4,795 tonnes, down from 6,271 tonnes a month earlier. Germany was next best with 2,123 tonnes in December compared to 858 tonnes a month before.

OCC key destinations (47071000)

wdt_ID Date China Vietnam India Indonesia EU
1 01/12/2017 169,797,238 34,109,420 8,423,207 6,773,072 6,969,379
2 01/11/2017 141,195,914 24,491,024 13,601,647 8,683,621 6,358,291
3 01/10/2017 92,401,545 50,490,531 11,873,555 12,380,518 13,695,821
4 01/09/2017 220,831,969 22,871,385 12,628,455 3,961,079 8,304,184
5 01/08/2017 117,351,874 16,737,793 9,619,311 3,816,526 9,572,395
6 01/07/2017 145,445,005 7,086,910 5,253,257 2,246,658 7,136,389
7 01/06/2017 233,535,331 4,335,207 7,572,675 135,975 14,069,860
8 01/05/2017 181,070,651 14,451,740 14,406,892 818,736 5,455,701
9 01/04/2017 210,157,209 17,300,095 19,477,521 13,606,232 8,853,811
10 01/03/2017 232,512,036 10,464,640 10,429,028 8,800,361 3,825,716

Mixed paper – Commodity code 470790

Exports of mixed paper dropped to 115,185 tonnes in December from 134,267 tonnes the month previously. This isn’t unusual with it being a shorter trading month due to Christmas.

India was easily the most prominent buyer with 78,816 tonnes suggesting the tougher inspection regime will hit hard. This was an increase on November’s 75,352 tonnes.

As a whole, the EU was the next best destination with 15,449 tonnes down from 23,777 tonnes in November.

Exports to the Netherlands were at 7,696 tonnes up from 6,872 tonnes a month earlier.

German exports dropped to 4,840 tonnes in December compared to 8,831 tonnes in November.

China somehow managed to take 4,956 tonnes despite this grade being banned. This was up from 3,196 tonnes in November.

Malaysia was not far behind with 4,676 tonnes, an increase on November’s tiny 148 tonnes.

Exports to Thailand fell to 2,877 tonnes in December dropping from November’s 8,575 tonnes.

Mixed paper key destinations (47079010)

wdt_ID Date China Vietnam India Indonesia EU total
1 01/12/2017 22,529,805 5,767,421 16,168,213 28,701,760 15,069,808
2 01/11/2017 21,525,899 6,776,878 21,513,241 32,511,340 19,241,687
3 01/10/2017 9,593,975 4,340,760 14,774,368 54,498,670 24,596,269
4 01/09/2017 37,134,676 3,672,400 5,658,543 17,281,140 27,499,171
5 01/01/2018 19,743,449 5,635,360 26,605,749 18,178,619 22,555,181
6 01/02/2018 16,615,169 6,738,460 37,931,747 14,731,060 23,951,039
7 01/03/2018 9,506,604 3,401,120 62,254,124 18,293,150 30,951,364
8 01/04/2018 12,467,300 6,865,830 43,863,425 16,487,850 32,221,347
9 01/05/2018 20,530,708 7,271,480 31,540,048 8,371,720 31,144,679
10 01/06/2018 17,873,411 4,860,900 21,463,876 23,196,375 29,530,427

News & Pams – Commodity code 470730

December saw 25,969 tonnes of news & pam pass through ports on the way elsewhere, falling from 28,861 tonnes in November.

As a whole the EU was the main buyer with 10,203 tonnes from this total. This was actually up from November’s 7,631 tonnes.

France bought most with 3,000 tonnes up from November’s 2,257 tonnes. Not far behind was Spain with 2,963 tonnes more than doubling November’s 1,482 tonnes.

Germany was next with 2,506 tonnes in December and increased just a touch on November’s 2,465 tonnes.

Otherwise, only India and Thailand took significant tonnage outside of Europe. India bought 9,665 tonnes in December compared to 7,635 tonnes in November. A vast increase was seen by Thailand with 3,360 tonnes, which was its highest total since July 2019. This was a big increase on just 24 tonnes in November.

OCC historic data – all destinations

Mixed paper historic data – all destinations

N&P historic data – all destinations

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