While the UK currently has 39% of the European export market share and is expected to send over two million tonnes to foreign shores this year, other players are catching up fast and sending an increasing amount to Far Eastern destinations.
Although the UK grew the amounts sent by 2% between May and August, the second and third biggest exporters, Holland (25.9% of the market) and Germany (14.05%) both decreased their reliance considerably.
But it is countries that have developing infrastructure, such as Belgium whose exports have increased by 148% between January and August this year and Spain whose has risen by 216% that are adding to competition for the main Chinese market.
J & H Sales International managing director Ranjit Baxi said: We are currently going through a period where not just Europe, but globally we are seeing increases in collection volumes. This has led to a need for more export markets in Asia, but a problem is that increased volumes have a tendency to produce poor quality of paper.
Baxi stressed the importance of quality, but also suggested increased markets are opening in India, China, Indonesia and Thailand.
The UK still sends a far greater amount abroad than any other European country. While it sent 675,000 tonnes for export between January and August this year, Holland sent 424,000 tonnes, with Germany shipping 220,000 tonnes and Belgium 162,000.
While this gives us overwhelming dominance in terms of market share, increased competition means that UK paper could be set to travel right across southern Asia.