International trade: Impact of regulations on global market dynamics

The Paper Recycling Confex Middle East, organised by Waste & Recycling MEA magazine, brought together hundreds of paper mill owners, recyclers, traders and indentors for a day-long discussion that took a comprehensive look at the pulp and paper industry in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.  

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March 14 2023
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The conference began with a panel discussion on ‘International trade: Impact of regulations on global market dynamics’. Panelists discussed the challenges stemming from environmental policies, waste shipment legislations and import/export duties imposed by various countries. While urging the EU to review its shipment rules, they also batted for developing common language for standards and specifications. 

Talking about the recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, Pieter Vermeij, Commercial Director Global, Waste Paper Trade, pointed out the market continues to remain volatile post pandemic. 

Joep van den Broeke, General Manager, Ciparo, commented about the impact of the EU Shipment Regulations. He said the EU is laying stress on the eco-friendly measures but the enforcement is unclear. “Each of the 27 countries has its own way of interpreting the regulations.” This has affected trade in recovered fibre, he added. 

Vikas Mahajan, Commercial Director, Mahajan Recycle Resources, said the dynamics of the market is dependent on various factors including freight cost and demand & supply, besides the regulations. 

The panelists drew the audience's attention towards the need for free trade. “Countries are increasingly trying to keep scrap materials within their borders. This is not good for a healthy market and healthy competition,” said Mr. Vermeij. The countries are increasingly shifting their approach from globalisation to localisation. Unless the demand and supply match, this is not a practical approach, said Mr. Mahajan. 

Devang Vora, founder, Adler, spoke about the constant changes in pricing and how it is affecting the paper market. Ercan Yurekli, Board Chairman, Yurekli Kagit, said the pricing models vary with countries and so do the standardisations. There should be uniformity in standardisation across the globe, he recommended. 

The panelists noted the circular economy initiatives may bring about positive changes for the recovered fibre market. Mr. Yurekli said the demand for recovered paper will grow, while Mr. Vermeij opined that the quality of the feedstock is set to improve.