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Commodities

Japan's paperboard exports tear through 30-year record

Chinese e-commerce and environmental rules provide twin updrafts

TOKYO -- Japanese exports of paperboard rose 71% on the year to 61,700 tons in October to break a record set three decades ago, industry statistics out Monday show.

Corrugated-cardboard components made up the bulk of the exports, surging 73% to 59,900 tons in a second straight month of records. This included shipments to China, with its blossoming e-commerce market, shooting up 34-fold on the year. Environmental regulations restricting Chinese imports of used paper also played a role, boosting shipments of newly produced corrugated-cardboard components from Japan.

The previous overall monthly record of 58,500 tons was set in March 1987.

Preparations for Singles Day, the Nov. 11 shopping bonanza organized by Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding, also lifted demand for corrugated-cardboard components. Shipments to China more than doubled from September to 22,600 tons.

Meanwhile, shipments of paper and paperboard within Japan declined 0.2% on the year to 2.12 million tons in October to mark a third straight month of decline. Sluggishness in paper for printing and communication applications led to a 2% drop in paper shipments to 1.13 million tons. Paperboard shipments rose 2% to 993,000 tons, likely helped by online shopping for home appliances and consumer electronics.

(Nikkei)

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