China pulp imports jump by 43.4% in February from a year ago and by 32.8% month-over-month, to 1,555,627 tonnes

LOS ANGELES , March 30, 2012 () – China imported 1,555,627 tonnes of pulp in February, soaring by 43.4% from a year ago and by 32.8% from January, according to China Customs Bureau statistics.

This more than reversed the January results, in which the imports fell by 16.7% year-over-year and by 15.0% month over month. A market pulp consultant today said this might have had to do with arrangements to delay the arrival of some shipments until February, due to the early Lunar New Year holiday this year, and he noted that the January/February total is more in the average range. As for the February total itself, he said, “But it’s still a lot of pulp.”

This was also the seventh month in a row in which imports surpassed 1 million tonnes. In 2011, the imports totalled more than 1 million tonnes in every month except June and July.

For the first two months of 2012, the total was 2,713,965 tonnes, up 9.3%.

In February 2012, imports of bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) and bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) each surpassed 600,000 tonnes.

In February, China imported 633,731 tonnes of BSKP, up 39.5% from January 2012 and up 57.9% from February 2011. The year-to-date total of 1,087,986 tonnes grew by 10.7% from the first two months of 2011.

The February 2012 BHKP imports totalled 611,121 tonnes, for increases of 26.8% month-over-month and of 31.8% year-over-year. The January-February total of 1,093,086 tonnes rose by 17.8% from the year-ago period.

The February imports of Canadian BSKP, or northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp, of 226,046 tonnes, rose by 41.3% from January and by 27.2% from a year ago. The cumulative total of 386,024 tonnes fell by 9.6% from the first two months of 2011.

The Finnish NBSK imports in February of 85,259 tonnes were up 242.0% from February 2011’s 24,959 tonnes.

The February 2012 imports of Brazilian bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) reached 269,805 tonnes, rising by 54.4% from January and by 25.5% from a year ago. Year-to-date, the total was 444,588 tonnes, up 33.0% from the same months of 2011.

February 2012 imports of unbleached softwood kraft (UKP) were 58,409 tonnes, up 5.8% month-over-month and up 20.7% year-over-year. The January-February total of 113,594 tonnes fell by 12.2%.

For mechanical and semi-chemical pulp, also known as high-yield pulp or bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP), China imported 110,323 tonnes, up by 21.2% from a month ago and by 8.3% from a year ago. The two-month total of 201,357 tonnes dropped by 24.8% from the year-ago period.

In February, dissolving pulp imports to China of 133,346 tonnes increased by 74.0% from January and jumped by 108.5% from a year ago. The cumulative total of 205,776 tonnes increased by 29.4%

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