By Karen Robes Meeks
Shipments of scrap paper rose three percent in the first 10 months of 2018 at the Port of Oakland, bucking a trend for US exports.
The port, which considers waste paper its biggest export by container volume, moved 110,400 TEUs of it between January and October 2018, close to 18 percent of Oakland’s total export volume. Most of it went to Asia to use for packaging material.
The statistic is impressive, considering the tariff standoff between the US and China and China’s more stringent standards on foreign scrap.
While scrap paper shipments to China, the port’s top trade partner, have been down 37 percent this year, other Asian countries have clamored for more scrap. In 2018 the demand in Taiwan was up 522 percent, while Vietnam rose 344 percent.
“We can’t be certain if this trend will last, but the figures seem to show that there’s no loss of demand globally,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It appears that shippers are finding new markets for their scrap paper products.”
Meanwhile, scrap metal export is up 10 percent this year because demand in Taiwan, Vietnam and India has allowed Oakland to curb much of the loss experience from China, whose shipments for the product fell 43 percent.