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Newsprint imports slump almost 13%

Friday, 13 October 2017
By Print21

Newsprint imports were down by 12.9% in the 2016-17 financial year, according to new data from pulp and paper industry bible IndustryEdge.

Driven lower by a plunge in consumption of newsprint and progressively lower demand for other printing and communication papers, Australia’s total demand for paper and paperboard fell 4.4% in 2016-17. In volume terms, the decline was more than 143,000 tonnes.

In total, exports rose 5.7% compared with the previous year, while imports fell a significant 8.8% over the same period. Production rose 2.0%, achieving a new record, despite the fall in local demand.

“Despite production in all other sectors declining (Newsprint, Printing & Communication and Tissue), total Australian production rose 2.0%, to a new record of 3,185,00 tonnes,” says IndustryEdge MD Tim Woods. “The aggregate rise of 65,000 tonnes was delivered entirely by 1.4% growth in Packaging & Industrial paper production.”

Newsprint imports fell 12.9% and printing and communication papers experienced a 3.9% decline compared with the prior year.

But not all grades experienced declines. Offsetting these falls, to some extent, were rising tissue imports (up 3.9%) and a small (0.8%) increase in packaging and industrial paper imports. Stable growth in tissue demand was joined by the stability of the packaging and industrial paper market – especially corrugated boxes – to limit the fall in demand.

The big trade news for the year was the massive decline in imports of copy paper, says Woods

The fall follows a long-running battle over paper dumping and a decision earlier this year by the federal government to introduce dumping duties on A4 copy paper exported to Australia from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

Detailed analysis covering demand for each industry sector, as well as production and trade in both Australia and New Zealand, is included in the 350+ pages of the 2017 Pulp & Paper Strategic Review due out this week.








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