China: Surge in fibreboard exports in 2021

Image: Kumiko Shimizu/Unsplash

According to China Customs, exports have been dominating China’s fibreboard trade in recent years. The volume of China’s fibreboard exports fell to 1.52 million tonnes in 2020 from 2.09 million tonnes in 2017.

However, exports surged 49% to 2.26 million tonnes year-on-year in 2021, valued at US$1.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 49% in volume and 45% in value. The average CIF price for China’s fibreboard exports fell 3% to $532 per tonne.

China’s fibreboard export markets are diverse and the volume of fibreboard exports to the top 10 destinations accounted for 63% of the total in 2021. The top 3 countries in terms of fibreboard export volumes in 2021 were Vietnam, Nigeria and Mexico.

China’s fibreboard exports in 2021 to Vietnam and Mexico surged but to Nigeria fell 15%. The US was ranked fifth in terms of China’s fibreboard exports volume in 2021. Previously, it was ranked number one.

The average CIF price for China’s fibreboard exports to Vietnam among the top 10 destination countries was lowest at $362 per tonne in 2021, down 14% year-on-year. The average CIF price for China’s fibreboard exports to Mexico fell 26% year on year.

Imports of fibreboard into China declined in 2021, however. According to China Customs, fibreboard imports rose 8% in 2018 but have been falling since then.

China’s fibreboard imports totalled 143,000 tonnes, valued at $132 million, down 3% in volume but up 23% in value year-on-year in 2021. The average CIF price for China’s fibreboard imports rose 27% to $928 per tonne.

The main suppliers of fibreboard imports in 2021 were Germany, New Zealand, Thailand, Belgium and Spain. The volume of China’s fibreboard imports from Germany, Thailand, Belgium and Spain rose 59%, 35%, 41% and 79% respectively, however from New Zealand they fell 35% year-on-year.

Source: ITTO