Experts provided in-depth assessments and explanations of many issues moving the RCP market at the Cycle Link International Recycled Fibre Quality Conference, which took place in Shanghai on 1 and 2 February.
Executives from the Ma’anshan and Ji’an paper mills talked about how they would make up for the loss of imported fibre. They plan, among other things, to use more pulp, paper chemicals, and additives such as starch. There is also talk of recovered paper being converted into deinking pulp in neighbouring countries and then being shipped to China.
Paper mills will also increase their purchases of US-American material, which contains more virgin fibre, and scale back RCP supply from Europe. This is bad news for European recycling companies which were planning to invest in their equipment in order to meet the high quality targets. From 1 March, recovered paper imported to China may only contain up to 0.5% of contaminants. There will be strict controls in the ports, e.g. four out of ten containers will be opened.
One most important measure for domestic paper manufacturers is, of course, increasing domestic purchases of recovered paper. This is at the same time a challenge and a change, according to Echo Wu, who talked about the state of the Chinese recovered paper market.