China pulp imports increase 6% year-over-year in April, edge down 0.1% month-over-month, to 1.479 million tonnes; imports fall 5.7% year-to-date, to 5.408 million tonnes

LOS ANGELES , May 24, 2013 () – China imported 1,479,112 tonnes of pulp in April 2013, increasing 6% from April 2012 while falling just a bit—1,411 tonnes, or 0.1%--from March 2013, according to China Customs Bureau statistics.

During the first four months of 2013, the imports totaled 5,408,193 tonnes, down 5.7% from the year-ago period. This is the third straight month of a year-to-date decline, but the gap has narrowed from the overall 9.5% decline of the first quarter.

And the imports to China have been above 1 million tonnes in every month since August 2011; in 2011 they were above 1 million tonnes in every month except June and July.

Bleached hardwood kraft pulp (BHKP) imports rose well above 500,000 tonnes in April 2013, to 628,472 tonnes, up 16.6% year-over-year and up 17.3% over March’s 535,770 tonnes. In February and January, the imports dropped just below 480,000 tonnes. For the first four months of 2013, they totalled 2,118,466 tonnes, down 6.3% from the year-ago period.

In April 2013, the bleached softwood kraft pulp (BSKP) imports totaled 541,498 tonnes, declining just 309 tonnes, or 0.1%, from April 2012 and down 9.0% from March 2013’s 595,081 tonnes. (China imported just 378,835 tonnes in February while in January the figure was 543,049 tonnes.) From January through April, the BSKP imports totalled 2,056,270 tonnes, for a 10.2% decrease from the first four months of 2012.

China imported 266,277 tonnes of Brazilian bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) in April 2013, rising 19.5% from a year ago and jumping 89.4% from March 2013. The year-to-date total of 739,153 tonnes declined 19.7% from the same months of 2012.

The April 2013 BHKP pulp imports from Indonesia of 165,244 tonnes were up 7.7% year-over-year but down 7.1% month-over-month. The cumulative total of 604,097 tonnes rose 6.7% from the year-ago period.

Regarding BSKP, China imported 173,661 tonnes of Canadian BSKP, or northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp, in April 2013, for decreases of 12.9% year-over-year and 26.4% month-over-month. So far this year, the imports totaled 716,393 tonnes, falling 9.8%.

China’s imports of NBSK from Finland totaled 76,257 tonnes in April, increasing 15.5% year-over-year and 32.6% month-over-month. The year-to-date total of 235,367 tonnes dropped 20.8%.

The April 2013 imports of unbleached softwood kraft pulp (UKP) of 46,813 tonnes were down 43.5% from a year ago and 16.9% from a month ago. The total for the first four months of 198,535 tonnes fell 26.8%.

The imports of mechanical and semi-chemical pulp, also known as high-yield pulp or bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP) in April 2013 of 110,576 tonnes were up 16.6% year-over-year but down 30.8% month-over-month. The year-to-date total of 477,012 tonnes increased 10.6%.

The April 2013 figure for dissolving pulp was 150,450 tonnes, for rises of 18.5% from April 2012 and of 13.7% from a month ago. For the first four months of 2013, the total was 552,445 tonnes, up 20.7% from the year-ago period.

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