attracting new investment remains a problem

attracting new investment remains a problem

Restructuring and promoting environmental initiatives continue to be among the main concerns of the pulp and paper industry in China As a result, the government is likely to increase investment in projects that deal with environmental measures and product adjustment.

In 1998, paper and board production increased by 2.5% to 28 million tons, while consumption rose by 2% to 33 million tons. Imports are estimated to total around 5.6 million tons – about the same level seen during 1997. Imports of pulp exceeded two million tons, while kraft cardboard, kraftliner, corrugating medium, coated printing paper and kraft sack paper were still the main grades imported.

Continued growth in demand for woodfree grades helped boost import levels, but consumption of lower quality printing and writing papers, packaging papers and boards decreased – even at the lower prices on offer. The mills producing such grades were hit by the trend, while sales and profits among the newsprint producers were badly hit as imported grades were dumped on the market. Newsprint production decreased by 13% in the first half year. Newsprint imports also fell by 52%. Paper and board exports were estimated at 380,000 tons.

Several new production lines came on stream in 1998:

120,000 ton/yr of newsprint at Hansol Potential in Shanghai 150,000 tons/yr of linerboard at Jiulong Paper Company in Guangdong 350,000 tons/yr of printing/writing paper at APP in Suzhou

100,000 tons/yr of coated paper at the Chenming Paper group in Shandong 100,000 tons/yr of kraft cardboard and linerboard at the Sun Paper group in Shandong

51,000 tons/yr of printing paper at the Yueyang paper mill.

New projects to come include a 130,000 ton/yr newsprint machine at the Guangzhou paper mill, a 120,000 tons/vr newsprint PM at Nanping’s mill and 1.35 million tons/yr of paper and board capacity under construction at Jindong Paper in Jiangsu province. Other greenfield and rebuild projects are also under consideration.

Forecasts for this year put the increase in P&B production at 3.5%. Imports of wood pulp and wastepaper will continue to grow to make up for the deficit in fiber raw material. Imports of quality paper and board are also likely to increase and output from the new production lines will come on the market.

Over this year, competition is expected to remain fierce and the shortage of fiber and raw materials will continue to be a problem. A lack of investment could also prove problematic. Mills will have to adjust their raw material fiber base, products and output in order to continue their development. Cao Pu-Fan and Kuang Shi-Jun

newsprint production jiangsu province pulp and paper industry coated printing environmental initiatives pulp and paper import levels sun paper linerboard paper group printing paper writing papers writing paper shandong quality printing coated paper suzhou guangdong half year new projects

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