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Commodities

Wastepaper prices in Japan slip as China limits imports

Recovered cardboard, paper inventories pile higher

TOKYO -- Japanese wastepaper prices continue to fall as exports to China retreat amid Beijing's push to tighten environmental regulations.

The wholesale purchase price -- at which wholesalers buy from collectors -- of used magazine paper is currently at 8 yen (7 cents) per kilogram, while used newspaper is at 10.5 yen, both 1 yen cheaper than the end of last month. Used cardboard prices have already declined.

In preparation for the Communist Party Congress starting Wednesday, China has stopped production at paper mills that do not meet environmental standards and curbed imports of recovered paper. The Kanto region cooperative of wastepaper wholesalers in the greater Tokyo area has held off shipments to China since September.

Among the cooperatives' 32 wholesalers, inventories of recovered cardboard, magazine and newspaper rose 5% at the end of September from August. The wholesale price has dropped as a result of the wastepaper glut.

Wastepaper prices will probably keep dropping, since it is doubtful that China will loosen import restrictions, according to one wholesaler. Should wholesale prices continue downward, buyers will likely demand price decreases.

(Nikkei)

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