Paper pulp is a kind of fibrous material, which is made from the plant fiber with different processing ways. The paper pulp can be divided into many types according to the materials, process methods, processing stage and etc. the pulp is widely applied into many fields, such as paper making, artificial fiber, plastic, and chemistry. As a traditional industry, paper pulp making has different development in every sector of the global market. There are some countries and regions for paper pulp industry like Asia, North America, Europe, China, and so on.
Paper pulp classification
- Wood pulp: the wood pulp has two types including softwood pulp and hardwood pulp. Generally, softwood pulp has the better tenacity and drawing ability than hardwood pulp. For increasing the toughness of paper, softwood pulp is usually added to wood pulp production.
- Waste paper pulp: as the name suggested, the waste paper pulp is made from waste paper. The recycled paper is classified and soaked by the warm water, and treated paper is used for pulp making.
- Non-wood pulp: The non-wood pulp has three types, including cereal fibrous pulp (raw materials include straw, wheat straw, reed, bamboo, bagasse, etc.); bast fibrous pulp (hemp, kenaf, flax, mulberry bark, cotton stalk bark, etc.); hull fibrous pulp (cotton fiber).
- Chemical pulp: chemical pulp is made by chemical pulping that treat raw materials with chemicals. Chemical pulping require equipment include pulp digester, blow tank, disc filter, twin roll press, and vacuum drum washer, etc.
- Mechanical pulp: mechanical pulp is made by mechanical pulping. Defibrination is the main treatment of fibrous materials.
- Chemimechanical pulp: chemimechanical pulp refers to the pulp made by chemical pretreatment and mechanical defibrination, also called semi-chemical pulp. APMP pulping is a typical chemimechanical pulping method.
Besides, the paper pulp is divided into refining pulp, bleached pulp, partly bleached pulp and unbleached pulp. This classification is made by the degree of pulp bleaching. The pulps with different whiteness have different applications. For example, the bleached sulfate wood pulp is used for making text paper, picture newspaper, offset paper and writing paper. The unbleached pulp is mostly applied to manufacturing medium fine printing paper, draper’s cap, translucent paper, and grease-proof paper, etc.
Global pulp market overview
In 2015, global pulp production reached 1810 million tons, and falls 0.23% relatively in 2014, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In 2015, the world’s paper pulp trade reached 53823 thousand tons. Latin America is the largest net export area of pulp, net exporter accounted for 14998 thousand tons, and it held the line on a year-on-year basis. Asia is the largest net import area of paper pulp, the net importer accounted for 21920 thousand tons, and it falls 0.51% on a year-on-year basis.
- From the point of view of producing areas, North America, Europe, and Asia are three areas with largest pulp yield. The paper pulp yield is 65504 thousand tons (36.2%), 4558.9 thousand tons (25.2%) and 3971.6 thousand tons (21.9%). Pulp yield has grown rapidly in Latin America, in 2015, the pulp yield reached 25376 thousand tons, the year-on-year growth of more than 2.74 percent, accounted for 14 percent of global production, it has become the fourth biggest paper pulp producing area.
- From the point of view of the country, in 2015, five countries with largest pulp yield include United States (48405 thousand tons), Brazil (17226 thousand tons), Canada (17000 thousand tons), China (16833 thousand tons) and Sweden (11087 thousand tons). These five countries produce 61.2% of worldwide pulp yield.
- From the point of view of product category, chemical wood pulp has the largest yield among all pulp types, capacity reaches 134 million tons accounts for 74.31% of total output. Followed by mechanical pulp (253420 million tons, 14.01%), chemi-mechanical pulp (89950 million tons, 4.97%) and other fiber pulp (121450 million tons, 6.71%).
Top Five Pulp Exporting Country
(ten thousand tons)
|growth rate||proportion of the total volume|
|The United States||701.8||-1.15%||13.04%|
Top Five Pulp Importing Country
(ten thousand tons)
|growth rate||proportion of the total volume|
|The United States||523.3||-7%||9.89%|
China pulp market overview
China is the largest pulp importing country in the world. China’s paper pulp yield can’t meet the consumption demand. According to the database from the China Paper Association, in 2016, China’s paper pulp capacity reached 7, 9250 thousand tons, and it falls 0.74% on a year-on-year basis. The total output of wood pulp is 1, 0050 thousand tons, and up 4.03% compared with the previous year. The total output of waste paper pulp is 63290 thousand tons, and it falls 0.14% compared with last year. The total output of non-wood pulp is only 5910 thousand tons, and remarkably decrease 13.09% compared with previous year. Besides, the imported wood pulp of China reaches 1, 8810 thousand tons, and the imported dependence up to 65.1%.
In 2016, China’s paper pulp consumption is 9, 7970 thousand tons, and increase 0.68% compared with previous year. Specifically, wood pulp consumption is 2, 8870 thousand tons, increases 6.04% compared with previous year. Waste paper pulp consumption is 6, 3290 thousand tons, and falls 0.14% compared with previous year. Non-wood pulp consumption is 5910 thousand tons and reduces 13.09% compared with previous year. From the source of paper pulp, 1, 0050 thousand tons wood pulp is made in China, and it takes 34.93% of whole pulp consumption. 1, 8810 thousand tons is imported from other countries and takes 65.07% of whole pulp consumption. As for the waste paper pulp, 4, 0210 thousand tons pulp is made in China and takes 63.5% of the total. 2, 3080 thousand tons waste paper pulp is imported from foreign countries and takes 36.47% of the total.
3 features of China paper pulp market
Why China becomes the largest pulp importing country in the world? Raw materials, policy, and lower capacity are main problems behind this situation.
- In China, paper pulp is mainly made from the non-wood fiber in a long term. The raw materials restrict the scale of pulp industry, pulp quality and pulp processing in China. In 2004, the related department has stated the goal that increases use of wood pulp up to 24.3%. At the same time, non-wood pulp and waste paper pulp consumption should increase 11.7% and 64% of the total. The goal has been over fulfilled by now.
- From the view of capacity, based on closing down outdated production facilities in the pulp industry. China wood pulp capacity reaches average annual increase of 0.6 percentage points. What’s more, paper pulp industry keeps high operating rate. Even though the China pulp supply still falls short of demand. In 2016, wood pulp consumption takes 29.37% of total pulp consumption, but wood pulp still takes less proportion in the paper pulp production of China.
- Pulp capacity shortage of China results in the pulp import dependence. Based on the data of the China Paper Association, China imported 1,8810 thousand tons wood pulp, increase 7.06% compared with previous year, and takes 64.7% of total wood pulp consumption. From 2009, China keeps average growth rate per annum at 10.42% and far above the wood pulp capacity of China during the period. In addition to, the import volume of wood pulp increase far above other kinds of pulp.