The Top Recovered Paper Market Is Suffering This Year, Exports Are Falling

24 November 2023
USA Trade

The US is at the pinnacle of recovered paper markets. It has been at the top of countries even more than the country where paper was invented and once was the top export destination for the US, China. The US is the top exporting country of recovered paper (Heading 4707). However, the top market for the recovered papers has been going through a phase with fluctuations and turmoil. Following the post-pandemic period, the US has not been able to make much in the exports of recovered papers. The US trade statistics can provide a better comprehension of the US recovered paper exports.

 

US Recovered Paper Market

 

The paper was invented in China from tree bark, hemp waste and other organic materials. Although China still ranks at the top of paper and paperboard-producing countries, the US stands at the top when it comes to the preservation of recovered papers and processing them.

 

As you can see in the evaluation of top recovered paper exporting countries in 2022, the USA is at the top with a global share value of 33.2%, followed by the UK with a share value of 9.6%, the Netherlands with a 5.6% share value, and France with 5.1% along with other countries in the list.

 

Top Recovered Paper Exporting Countries (2022)

Country

Value USD %

United States of America

33.2

United Kingdom

9.6

Netherlands

5.6

France

5.1

Japan

4.2

Germany

3.5

Italy

3.1

Poland

2.9

Canada

2.8

Belgium

2.8

 


The US received a blow at the exports of recovered papers during the pandemic in 2020 since there was not much material to be gathered. Even though it received a substantial amount of gain in 2021, the exports registered a significant decline in 2022 and fell further in 2023 so far.

 

The major blow for the US comes from lower demand, and following a weak demand period in 2022, the prices were weak and exports declined. A big blow also comes from China, whose trade values have shown a drastic decline in the recent exports of recovered papers with the US.

 

US Recovered Paper Exports — Yearly

 

The yearly exports of recovered papers from the US show the following registered values: $3.2 billion in 2018, followed by $2.6 billion in 2019, $2.4 billion in 2020, $3.2 billion in 2021, and $3.1 billion in 2022. The values of exports in 2022 reflect a 2.32% decline when compared to 2021.

 

US Recovered Paper Exports — By Year

Year

Value USD Billion

2018

3.29

2019

2.67

2020

2.41

2021

3.26

2022

3.18

 


US Recovered Paper Exports — Partners

 

The top exporting partners for the US exports of recovered papers in 2022 list India at the top with a share value of 23.3%, followed by Mexico with a 19.1% share value, Thailand with 11.4%, and Vietnam with 9.6% along with other countries as shown in the US export data 2022 below.

 

US Recovered Paper Exports — By Top Partners (2022)

Country

Value USD %

India

23.3

Mexico

19.1

Thailand

11.4

Vietnam

9.6

Taipei, Chinese

5.9

Canada

5.1

Malaysia

4.9

South Korea

4.8

Indonesia

3

China

2.1

 


The yearly trend of the US recovered paper exports with share values of each partner country in the past 5 years reveals key insights. Some key insights observed from the below US trade data are:

  India has gained a substantial share of the US recovered paper exports, becoming the top partner country for the US with the highest share value in 2022

      Mexico, like India, has also gone through a gradual transformation to become the second-highest country for the US exports of recovered papers

      Regions that gained traction with the US’s recovered paper exports in the past 5 years consist mainly of Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia

      China has registered a dramatic steep decline in trade with the US for its recovered paper exports, falling from 41.1% in 2018 to a mere 2.1% share value in 2022

 

US Recovered Paper Exports — By Top Partners (2022) And Yearly Trends of Share Value (In %)

Country

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

India

16.1

17

12.7

23.2

23.3

Mexico

11.2

10.8

11.6

15.3

19.1

Thailand

1.8

2.3

3.7

11.1

11.4

Vietnam

3.4

5

7.6

11

9.6

Taipei, Chinese

2.9

4.5

5.5

6.7

5.9

Canada

5

4.8

5.4

5.4

5.1

Malaysia

0.5

0.8

2.2

4.2

4.9

South Korea

5.8

5.6

5.8

5

4.8

Indonesia

4.5

4.4

2.8

3

3

China

41.1

34.2

32.9

3

2.1

 


US Recovered Paper Exports — Recent Trends

 

In recent quarters, the US exports of recovered papers have been on a decline trail. Tracing the quarters from the first quarter of 2021 to the third quarter of 2023, the exports of the US surged during the second quarter of 2021.

 

Even though the trade registered falling values in the following periods of Q2-2021, the exports grew in the second quarter of 2022. However, the exports went through a frequent decline following Q2-2022. There has been a silver lining in Q3-2023, registering a slight increase in exports.

 

US Recovered Paper Exports — By Quarter

Quarter

Value USD Million

Q1-2021

742.86

Q2-2021

884.98

Q3-2021

820.45

Q4-2021

854.31

Q1-2022

821.79

Q2-2022

898.63

Q3-2022

751.40

Q4-2022

714.21

Q1-2023

681.82

Q2-2023

559.05

Q3-2023

568.38

 


In the monthly evaluation of the recovered papers’ exports by the US in 2023, the following data shows that values increased by 17.29% in March on a MoM comparison. However, April registered a decline of 23.52% on a MoM comparison. The following months registered fluctuations.

 

US Recovered Paper Exports — By Month (2023)

Month

Value USD Million

January

223.14

February

211.09

March

247.58

April

189.34

May

189.81

June

179.89

July

177.69

August

195.43

September

195.25

 


The state of the US recovered paper market does not look good considering, first the decline of the exports in the ongoing year and a dramatic shift in the trade with China for the exports of the material, although with a positive transition from several Asian countries such as India and Malaysia.

 

It is difficult to conclude at this point whether the market of recovered papers in the US will receive any positive growth. However, with the growing trade with most of the Asian countries, the exports might increase. Still, the mills in the US have to optimize themselves to pick up pace.

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