In the first six months of 2006, China imported 3.28 million tonnes of pulp. In 2004, China overtook the USA as the biggest importer of pulp. China has long been the biggest importer of waste paper, importing 16 million tonnes in 2005.
The largest pulp importer to China is Indonesia’s APRIL. Second is Aracruz, which last year exported 400,000 tonnes to China. “China’s demand for pulp is on an upward trend, and won’t slow down till at least the first quarter of 2007,” Alf Henrik Gistren, general manager of Aracruz’s Asian unit, told Bloomberg in August 2006.
International companies are investing heavily in new paper machines in China, which is driving the demand for pulp. In 2004, foreign companies owned about 29% of China’s 54.4 million tonnes paper market. Meanwhile, Pöyry estimates that China’s paper and board consumption will increase by 5% a year until 2020. In Europe and North America, consumption is growing at about 1% a year.