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Anti-Dumping Commission to Terminate Copy Paper Dumping Case

Late on Friday 14th March, the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) announced it proposed to terminate the investigation into alleged dumping into Australia of copy paper exported from China.

The announcement was made in the Statement of Essential Facts (SEF) [http://www.adcommission.gov.au/cases/documents/034-Report-SEF225.pdf]. The SEF is effectively the ADC’s draft report of the investigation which covered white A4 and A3 copy paper exported from China over 2012-13.

The ADC’s key findings are that dumping of copy paper imported from China either did not occur or for the one exporter for whom it did occur, was at a technically and legally negligible margin. Where the dumping margin is less than 2% in respect of a particular exporter or less than 3% of the total Australian market volume is dumped, the Customs Act requires that the ADC terminate the investigation.

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Facial Tissue Blown Away by Private Label

[edited extract from Pulp & Paper Edge, the monthly trade and market data and intelligence publication published by IndustryEdge]

Australia’s total tissue products market was worth just less than AUD1.7 billion in calendar 2013, according to Retail World. Valued at AUD225.7M, facial tissue accounted for 13.2% of the total value. After many successive years of growth, the value of the Australian facial tissue market declined for the second successive year in 2013. In 2012, the total value was AUD236.0M, with the peak apparently reached in 2011 at AUD247.7M.

Free Trade Agreements and the National Interest

[extracted from Pulp & Paper Edge, the monthly trade and market data and intelligence publication published by IndustryEdge]

IndustryEdge Opinion

News that China may have downgraded efforts to complete a Free Trade Agreement with Australia by the end of 2014 have been met with very different responses in the Australian industry.

Some participants that IndustryEdge have spoken to are pleased because they view FTAs as a largely one-way street for domestic manufacturers whose borders are opened up without them having a realistic opportunity to compete in the other country. That would certainly be the case with a China FTA.

‘Old Growth’ Claims Snare FSC and Ikea

Turns out that allegations of inappropriate use of ‘old growth’ forests span the world. What’s more, it turns out they can ensnare those who least expect it, including those who typically are on the other side of the allegations and sometimes, are more than a little pious about it.

Media reports (UK: The Sunday Times ~ 23rd February 2014) suggest that the household furniture behemoth, Ikea, and the certification scheme, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are apparently linked to unsustainable old-growth forest harvesting, against the provisions of the FSC. Of particular interest is that the situation complained of in the article seems very similar to those FSC and some of its stakeholders often complain about in respect of others.

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Paper Importers Get Set on Illegal Logging Prohibition

Having just come from a briefing on the implications of Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act (2012) for the paper industry, it is worth sharing that sector’s preparations for the law’s commencement.

From 30th November 2014, not only will it be an offence to import illegally logged timber, it will also be an offence to import certain timber products that contain illegally logged material. Where products are declared as Regulated Timber Products (RTPs), the prospective importer is required to establish and operate a due diligence system to assess the risk of illegally logged timber being contained in the product.

Penalties for importing illegally logged timber (including in RTPs) include up to 5 years imprisonment and fines that range up to $85,000 per offence.

Sawn Softwood Consumption Lifts in 2013

After a poor start to 2013, apparent consumption of sawn softwood in Australia lifted progressively throughout the year. By year’s end, three successive quarterly consumption rises saw the implied measure of demand for the year just 12.6 km3 or 0.5% higher than for 2012.

Australian Apparent Consumption of Sawn Softwood: JQ’09 – DQ’13 (km3pq)

China’s Hardwood Chip Imports for 2013

[Extracted from Wood Market Edge, the monthly market and trade intelligence service supplied by IndustryEdge]

Latest data from China Customs demonstrates China imported 8.7M bone dry metric tonnes (bdmt) of hardwood chips in calendar 2013.

The year commenced relatively slowly, with imports totaling 1.6 Mbdmt in MQ’13, but exceeding 2.2 Mbdmt in each of the subsequent quarters. Relative stability displayed from April onwards, shown in the following chart, may provide evidence of a ‘floor’ in the volumes required by the Chinese pulp producers.

2013 Forestry Trade Stats – Australian Snapshot

Though its not a complete list, the following details Australia’s major trade statistics for forest products in calendar 2013.

Hardwood Chip Exports ~ 3,550 kbdmt at an average AUDFob163.21/bdmt

Softwood Log Exports ~ 1,855 km3 at an average AUDFob100.82/km3

Dressed Sawn Softwood Imports ~ 443.9 km3 at an average AUDFob596.31/km3

Rough Sawn Softwood Imports ~ 265.8 km3 at an average AUDFob399.90/km3

Pulp Imports ~ 262.4 kt at an average AUDFob631.34/t

Recovered Paper Exports ~ 1,443.4 kt at an average AUDFob160.46/t

Australian Woodchip Exports Through Roof… But Not Over the Top

Australia’s exports of hardwood chips exceeded 3.5 Mbdmt (bone dry metric tonnes) in calendar 2013, with just less than 1.3 Mbdmt exported in DQ’13 alone.

As our analysis of global wood chip shipping in December indicated, exports from Australia were expected to be close to 400 kbdmt for the month. In the end, they totaled 370.2 kbdmt.

If the export volumes experienced in DQ’13 continued across a full year, they would test the record 5.0 Mbdmt of exports experienced in calendar 2008.

Imports of Converted Packaging to Australia on the Rise

Whether its pizza or wine boxes or industrial fibre sacks for flour or handyman cement and concrete, Australia’s imports of fully converted packaging materials are on the rise.

The openness of the Australian economy makes that unsurprising at a macro level. Australia is an easy country with which to trade.

Real interest comes from the sources of the fully converted products.