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Vietnam paper imports up in 2018

Vietnam spent about $1.9 billion importing about 2.1 million tons of paper, including scrap paper, in 2018. According to an online article from China’s Xinhua news agency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported Jan. 10 that Vietnam increased its spending by 14.2 percent compared with 2017, and it increased its import volume by about 6.1 percent compared with 2017.

In December 2018, Vietnam imported 210,000 tons of scrap paper worth $172 million mainly from China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. That is an increase of 24.7 percent in volume and 13.6 percent in value, Xinhua reports.

About 70 percent of Vietnam’s total paper output is made from recovered paper, and about 60 percent of the recovered paper is imported, the ministry’s Industry Agency told Xinhua.

Dan Gee, senior associate at Atlanta-based Moore & Associates, says Vietnam is one of several Southeast Asian countries that has increased paper imports in the past year. Other countries include Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Laos, Philippines and Malaysia.

In Vietnam, Gee adds that China-based Nine Dragons Paper invested in the Cheng Yang Paper mill several years ago. That mill, based in the Binh Duong Province, is up and running, adding recovered paper demand in the country. Lee & Man Paper also is building a mill in the Hau Giang Province that is scheduled to open in late 2019.

Vietnam’s demand for paper is estimated to grow 8 to 10 percent annually in the next couple of years.

Resolute completes sale of paper mill

Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products Inc. completed the sale of its kraft pulp and paper mill in Catawba, South Carolina, to Ontario, California-based New-Indy Containerboard LLC Dec. 31, 2018. The company initially announced terms of the asset purchase agreement Oct. 2, 2018.

Resolute says the total purchase price of about $300 million consists of $260 million in cash, before customary closing adjustments, and the assumption of about $40 million of balance sheet liabilities, largely net pension benefit obligations.

As previously disclosed, Resolute says it will use most of the proceeds from the sale to repurchase $225 million of its 5.88 percent senior notes due in 2023.