Exports of recovered paper from Europe to China have increased this year, according to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), despite the country’s economic slowdown.
BIR world president Ranjit Singh Baxi, pictured, said the continent’s deliveries to China in the opening eight months of 2015 were 5.923 million tonnes, up from 5.136 million in the previous year’s corresponding period.
In contrast, North American exports to China slipped from 9.753 million tonnes to 9.626 million tonnes, which Baxi ascribed in part to the strength of the domestic US market.
Baxi also predicted a slight increase in Europe’s exports to China in the near future, while the country was expected to offer “sustained levels of demand”.
Speaking at a meeting of the BIR’s Paper Division in Prague, he anticipated that Chinese mills would increase their consumption of domestic fibre as collections continued to grow at home, but also that low freight rates would help to keep export pricing competitive.
Baxi, who is also founder chairman of the UK-based J&H Sales International, emphasised that “quality is and must remain the central focus” in exports to China.
But honorary president Dominique Maguin of La Compagnie des Matières Premières in France argued that whereas China had long been regarded as a “solution” for Europe’s surplus recovered paper, there was now a need to seek new markets.