In 1995 Australia exported 250,000 tonnes of recovered paper and board and by 2004 a total of 342,000 which was considered to be an exceptional effort considering this then represented 23% of domestic waste paper utilisation.
2007 - Australia’s utilisation of waste paper has actually declined 9.6%, however exports have increased to 1,071,000 tonnes or 74.5% of the domestic utilisation of 1,437,000 tonnes.
Most Asian destinations remained stable importers of our secondary fibre, however China now represents 59% of Australia’s exports at 630,000 tonnes. India doubled to 85,100 tonnes which only represents 8% of exports and was boosted with the closure of Shoalhaven mill’s modest de-inking capacity in 2005 which utilised preconsumer recovered paper from printers.
Exports of unbleached kraft or OCC increased 20% to a record 361,200 tonnes which contradicts the cry for the desperate need for more OCC domestically. In contrast old newspaper ONP declined whilst Mixed paper increased by 30% which is (mixed) up to sixty percent newsprint with the remainder packaging board and printing and writing papers. The decline in ONP separation is due to the narrowing of price between Mixed and ONP between $30-15 per tonne. Fewer MRFs are investing in expensive screens just for $30 per tonne and high labour costs which takes advantage of cheaper sortation in Asia.
Interestingly exports of bleached chemical grades only increased 13,000 tonnes out of 88,800 tonnes which is .00006% of the 1.4 million tonnes consumed, only proves that we need better analysis by ABS and domestic newsprint and packaging mills.