March 12, 2002
News Release 02-023
PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF
WOOD PULP STEADY WHILE WASTE PAPER PICKING UP
The U.S. pulp and paper industry continued to increase its use of waste paper and remained the
world's largest producer of wood pulp amid increasingly competitive markets in the late 1990s,
reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its publication Industry and Trade
Summary: Wood Pulp and Waste Paper.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding agency, recently released the report as part of
an ongoing series of reports on thousands of products imported into and exported from the
United States. The report addresses the market, industry, and trade conditions for wood pulp and
waste paper from 1996 through 2000. Following are the highlights of the report:
- U.S. mills produced 31 percent (57 million metric tons (mmt)) of global pulp production in
2000 but have been affected by increasing competition from other countries, partially
reflecting the strength of the U.S. dollar. Both foreign and domestic forest products firms are
driving industry consolidation.
- In 2000, market pulp (pulp produced for sale in the global market) represented 23 percent of
world wood pulp production. The ITC estimated that 68 U.S. mills produced market pulp and
that U.S. capacity was approximately 8.7 mmt. Economic cycles and inelastic supply caused
significant price volatility. Recoveries of waste paper continued to increase during
1996-2000, reaching 44.8 mmt.
- During 1996-2000, U.S. wood pulp imports (6.6 mmt valued at $3.3 billion in 2000) came
mostly from Canada and Brazil. U.S. exports (6.1 mmt valued at $3.4 billion in 2000) were
shipped to over 100 countries. Most waste paper imports in 2000 (552 thousand metric tons
valued at $91 million) came from Canada and Mexico but accounted for only a small part of
total domestic consumption. In 2000, U.S. exports amounted to 9.9 mmt valued at
- In 2000, global production of wood pulp was 187 mmt. The top three producing regions are
North America, Europe, and Asia, but South America is expected to continue increasing its
- U.S. imports of wood pulp and waste paper are free of duty. Worldwide, there is little or no
duty on wood pulp or waste paper, and trade in either commodity is not generally affected by
nontariff barriers. The U.S. wood pulp trade balance remained positive but declined from
$696 million in 1996 to $125 million in 2000. The decrease resulted from a decrease in
exports of 580 thousand metric tons and an increase in imports of 1.4 mmt. In contrast, the
U.S. waste paper trade balance has grown from $690 million in 1996 to $1.1 billion in 2000
as exports expanded by 3.4 mmt over the period.
The foregoing information is from the ITC report Industry and Trade Summary: Wood Pulp and
Waste Paper (USITC Publication 3490, February 2002).
ITC Industry and Trade Summary reports include information on product uses, U.S. and foreign
producers, and customs treatment of the products being studied; they analyze the basic factors
affecting trends in consumption, production, and trade of the commodities, as well as the factors
bearing on the competitiveness of the U.S. industry in domestic and foreign markets.
This report will be available on the ITC Internet web site at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may
be ordered by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International
Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be faxed to 202-205-2104.
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