Printing Paper Imports ‘Never Lower’: Woods

According to .au, industry guru Tim Woods details how imports of uncoated woodfree (including cut reams), which dropped by 27 percent, and light-weight coated mechanicals, which dropped by 30.3 percent, were responsible for the bulk of the last year’s decline, adding that exports were also low.

“On a year-end basis, printing and communication paper imports have never been lower,” Woods writes. “Anywhere you look, the last year has seen carnage in the import trade of printing and communication papers. There are – with the exception of newsprint – negligible exports of printing and communication papers from Australia. The same is true of tissue.”
Packaging and industrial paper imports declined by six percent to 307.3 kiloton over the past year, having peaked at 326.9 kiloton in the year ending September 2016. Exports dropped by 1.7 percent over the same period.

Woods says that the Australian trade positions for paper and paperboard are changing, with imports falling and exports modestly reduced. “Imports are falling because of declining demand for printing and communication papers, including newsprint,” Woods says, though cautions that this analysis doesn’t include pre-converted imports, which are rising. “With some exceptions, exports are strategic in nature, and are thus sustainable. It is unlikely they will either rise or fall significantly, meaning the future trade balances for Australia are tied up in the import experience, in the main.

“The data demonstrates one thing at least – Australia’s markets for paper and paperboard are far more dynamic than first glance suggests,” he writes.

1 reply
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