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China's UKP & Recycled Pulp Imports Retain Momentum
2022-01-10 14:00chinapaperonline.com
In the first eleven months of 2021, China's paper-grade market pulp imports totaled 25.51 million metric tons, -3.7% from the corresponding period of 2020, according to reports from China Customs. The rise to 2.43 million metric tons in November from 2.03 million metric tons in October still fell short of the 2.67 million metric tons recorded in November 2020. The decline in the 11-month period was apparently the result of slowdowns in BSK, BHK, and semi-chemical pulp imports, which reduced -2.9%, -6.7%, and -9.9% respectively from that of 2020.

However, China's UKP imports increased substantially. From January to November 2021, 993,478 metric tons were shipped into the country, growing +4.1% year on year. Also, China's import of recycled pulp – mostly unbleached and consumed by packaging paperboard producers - surged +39.1% to 2.27 million metric tons! The increase in imports of UKP and recycled pulp took place when the price of both was driven up by escalating production and transportation costs. Information from RISI showed the price of UKP from Chile and North America to China moved up +19.7% in 2021 and those from Russia gained +20.7%, while the price of recycled pulp from North America to China shot up +29.7% at the same time!

With over 5 million metric tons of new capacity joining China's paper industry in 2021 and more to come in 2022, especially in kraft paper and containerboard of the packaging sector, market analysts believe that China's demand for UKP and recycled pulp may grow stronger and imports from overseas will remain active in 2022.

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