From BIR data, the situation of the markets of recovered paper
According to a recent report by the recycling organisation, Bureau of International Recycling (Bir), purchases of recovered paper made by China, the world’s largest importer, decreased by 3 million tonnes in 2014, compared to 31.5 million tonnes in 2013. GDP is expected to drop even further in 2015 and consequently imports of recovered fibre are expected to fall as well. The appreciation of the dollar against the euro has contributed to sustaining exports of recovered paper from Europe in the last trimester of 2014, albeit at a reduced rate. Corrugated cardboard was being traded at over 185 dollars per tonne at the start of the trimester and 168 dollars per tonne at the end. In the same period, the price of mixed paper dropped from 160 to 135 dollars per tonne. Generally speaking, quality is the determining factor for buyers when it comes to identifying sources of recovered fibre, for European and Asian markets alike, in particular given the strict quality controls implemented in China. The demand for other categories of recovered paper remained at normal levels in the final trimester of last year, though prices have fallen. The German market is stable in terms of high quality materials, though prices have also dropped in the country. In Spain prices have remained stable in recent months, with requests for some types of materials growing owing to high demand from Asia. In Turkey, paper factories have limited supplies of recovered paper due to the reduction in collection volumes during the winter months. Meanwhile the price of corrugated cardboard saw increases between 10% and 15% in the final trimester of the past year. In Sweden, imports of recovered paper fell by 19% between January and September last year, while exports went up by 5%. Collection volumes are on the up. In the Czech Republic, however, collection volumes are stable at 800,000 tonnes, a value more or less unchanged since 2008. Paper factories in the country saw 6% less recovered paper come through their doors while there was a slight rise in exports.