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            june 25, 2019

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US scrap paper and metal exports increase despite China restrictions


The lowly transpacific backhaul commodity of yesteryear - scrap paper metal - is making a comeback through the Port of Oakland with shipment up three per cent year on year in the first 10 months of 2018, according to Shipping Gazette.
The increase in Oakland's recyclable paper shipments contrasts with a generally challenging environment for US exports. That's important because waste paper is the largest export commodity, measured by container volume from Oakland.
"We can't be certain if this trend will last, but the figures seem to show that there's no loss of demand globally," said Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll. "It appears that shippers are finding new markets for their scrap paper."
The port said that it shipped the equivalent of 110,400 TEU of wastepaper in 2018 through October. That accounted for nearly 18 per cent of Oakland's total export volume. Port data shows that nearly all the recyclable paper went to Asia. The product is used primarily to make packaging for Asian goods.
China, Oakland's No 1 trading partner, has reduced scrap paper shipments from the port 37 per cent this year. Neighbouring Asian countries have picked up the slack. Oakland scrap exports to Taiwan are up 522 per cent in 2018 with shipments to Vietnam up 344 per cent.
Also, scrap metal exports have increased 10 per cent in 2018. China imports fell 43 per cent, but Taiwan, Vietnam and India have increased intake.

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