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Foreign Paper Imports Impact The Domestic Paper Industry?

Nantong Cotton Machinery Co.,Ltd | Updated: Nov 26, 2018

From 2014 to 2017, China's paper and paperboard imports increased. In 2017, China's paper and paperboard imports were 4.75 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 60%. From January to September 2018, China's paper and paperboard imports were 4.9 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 55.4%.


Figure 1: Domestic paper and cardboard imports (quantity):

Source: Wind Zhongzhou Futures


In terms of the amount, the import value of Chinese paper and paperboard decreased from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, the import value of Chinese paper and paperboard was US$3.279 billion, down 2.1% year-on-year. In 2017, the import value of Chinese paper and paperboard increased. From January to September 2018, the import value of Chinese paper and paperboard was US$4.289 billion, a year-on-year increase of 44.2%.


Figure 2: Domestic paper and cardboard imports (amount):

Source: Wind Zhongzhou Futures


At present, most of the domestic imported paper and paper products are low-grade packaging paper, news paper, etc., but the quality of imported paper and paper products is generally better than domestic paper, and the price is lower than the price of domestic paper products. The sharp increase in the import of foreign paper has further impacted the already depressed market.


According to the statistics of the China Paper Association, from January to September 2018, the country produced 88.66 million tons of various types of paper, down 7.2% year-on-year. The production of paper products was 42.36 million tons, down 21.6% year-on-year, of which the output of carton was 21.21 million tons, down 28.3% year-on-year.


From January to September, carton production fell 28%, and the industry chain profit fell 20%. From January to September this year, the industry's profit fell by 20% year-on-year. From January to September, the main industry's main income was 1.0578 trillion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 10%, and the profit was 59.1 billion yuan, down 20% year-on-year.


Due to the downward pressure on the domestic economy and the shrinking demand for packaging paper due to export trade, this year's paper and board inventory increased by more than 30% year-on-year. It is expected that the total production and consumption of the paper industry will decrease this year. Affected by the gradual tightening of waste paper import policies and exchange rate changes, it will bring instability to the stable development of paper products.


Figure 3: Domestic paper and paper products inventory

Source: Wind Zhongzhou Futures


The domestic market for corrugated paper and boxboard paper is generally in demand, and the downward shift of costs is difficult, and the profits of importers will be compressed.


With the reduction in the import of corrugated paper and cardboard paper originating in the United States, the demand for domestic high-end products will be released. Especially for large-scale papermaking enterprises, having a relatively sufficient supply of raw materials and mastering advanced production equipment and technology will be better in capturing market share, and will also help the industry to increase concentration.