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Recovered Paper Market Outlook

Increased Demand for Recovered Paper Imports and Exports and Development of Raw Materials in Europe to Grow Market

Waste paper from domestic and industrial sources is referred to as recovered paper. Paper recovered from landfills can be repurposed to make new papers and boards. Energy can be recovered by recycling paper instead of landfilling or burning it for energy recovery purposes. Paper waste is repurposed for manufacturing recyclable paper products. Among them are the production of cardboard and the packaging of cardboard.

In the packaging industry, a great deal of the recovered paper is reused, so it is sensitive to economic fluctuations as it is reused in a wide range of applications. It has been estimated that there is a reduction in packaging production of up to 17 percent because of the decline in the production of intermediate products for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Using recycled paper has significantly reduced environmental impact in the German paper industry. The start of the recovery caused a steep rise in waste paper prices because of a shortage of recovered paper and high demand. A huge part of the European economy revolves around the production of paper and re-using it for recycling purposes.

Among pulp and paper manufacturers, CEPI recorded an increase in turnover of €13 billion from 2020 to €95 billion in 2021. Approximately 90,6 million tonnes of paper and board were produced in Europe last year, representing a 90% capacity utilization rate. Additionally, the first half of 2022 has been an improving period for the industry, as large players have seemingly recovered from COVID. As a result, cardboard and corrugated board prices also increased.

The European paper and board industry rely heavily on recovered paper as a raw material. More than 50 percent of the total production of paper and board in Europe comes from recycled fibers. A civil war in Ukraine, high inflation, and a shortage of shipping capacity are currently affecting the European economy. A dramatic fall in general consumption and a tripling of energy prices are throwing the paper industry into a crisis.

As domestic and export mill demand outpaced supplies in March, most recovered paper grades in North America saw increased prices as mills turned to other grades to fill orders, further tightening the market. Overall, the US recovered fiber prices increased in March from February over last year and were well above year-ago levels.

Although the pandemic market had some adverse effects on the recovered paper industry, experts believe that the market has not yet reached its bottom as a result of the effects of the pandemic. In recent months, old corrugated cardboard (OCC) prices have dropped 80-90%, according to the Division President at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World Recycling Convention in Dubai.

Paper has established itself as one of the indispensable materials in the packaging industry. The global push for sustainable packaging has led to a rise in demand for packaging products made of recycled paper. Used paper collected for recycling is termed ‘recovered paper’.

The same is used to manufacture products such as containerboard, corrugated boxes, cartons and others. Recovered paper is expected to witness a considerable rise in demand during the next ten years, due to increased adoption and demand for recycled packaging products in the last decade.

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Global recovered paper market: Dynamics

There is a change in buying pattern of consumers as they now prefer online shopping, over brick and mortar stores. Thus, there is increasing demand for packaging products. As corrugated containers and boxes are widely used as packaging products for transportation and shipping products, there is high demand for recovered paper derived from old corrugated containers that can be recycled and reused for the packaging purpose. Rising demand for corrugated containers for packaging is driving the growth of the recovered paper market.

Recovery rate of paper is very high in North America and Europe. However, in developing regions, such as the Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Africa, there is high import of recovered paper region from developed regions. There is high scope of opportunity for paper manufacturers to set up recovered paper plants in these regions. 

Global recovered paper market: Key players

Some of the key players of global recovered paper market are Smurfit Kappa Group plc. International Paper, American Eagle Paper Mills, Stora Enso, Mondi Group Plc. and others

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Global recovered paper market: Regional Overview

The recovered paper market is segmented into seven key regions –

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Asia Pacific excluding Japan
  • Japan
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

In Asia Pacific region, China is the leading consumer of recovered paper.  The demand for recovered paper is profoundly affected due to the new norms imposed by the Government of China. According to the new policies forced in the year 2017, the country can import two million tonnes of the recovered paper that is about 7%, of the whole recovered paper from the last few years. This law has brought a drastic change in the market.  In China, the recovered paper is majorly imported from Japan, Europe, and the United States. Therefore the current scenario is that Europe has about eight million tons of excess recovered paper that need to be consumed. The industry is facing issues in absorbing this large amount of recovered paper. Thus, this high supply rate of recovered paper leads to fall in the price of the recovered paper.

Manufacturers of recovered paper in the European region are majorly affected by this law, some of the production sites were closed, and incineration plants produced recovered paper are facing disposing of issues. High quality recovered paper is still exported, but it is at the level of saturation.

The research report presents a comprehensive assessment of the market and contains thoughtful insights, facts, historical data, and statistically supported and industry-validated market data. It also contains projections using a suitable set of assumptions and methodologies. The research report provides analysis and information according to market segments such as geographies, application, and industry.

The report covers exhaust analysis on

  • Market Segments
  • Market Dynamics
  • Market Size
  • Supply & Demand
  • Current Trends/Issues/Challenges
  • Competition & Companies involved
  • Technology
  • Value Chain

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Regional analysis includes

  • North America (U.S., Canada)
  • Latin America (Mexico. Brazil)
  • Western Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain)
  • Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia)
  • Asia Pacific (China, India, ASEAN, Australia & New Zealand)
  • Japan
  • Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries, S. Africa, Northern Africa)

The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

Global recovered paper market: Segmentation

The global recovered paper market is segmented into product type, paper type and by end use.

On the basis of product type, recovered paper market is segmented into:

  • Printing paper
  • Corrugated container
  • Cartons
  • Boxes

On the basis of paper grade, recovered paper market is segmented into:

  • Low grade paper
  • High grade paper
  • White paper
  • Brown paper

On the basis of end use, recovered paper market is segmented into:

  • Food & beverage industry
  • Electrical and electronics industry
  • Automobile industry
  • Pharmaceuticals industry
  • Others



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