Dissolving pulp refers to the pulp with the cellulose content above 90%, including wood pulp, bamboo pulp and cotton pulp. The report touches on the first two categories.
In the world, the dissolving pulp capacity concentrates in regions with abundant forest resources such as North America, South Africa and Brazil. Between 2011 and 2012, China’s intensive release of dissolving pulp capacity made it possible to become one of the major producing regions of dissolving pulp all across the globe. Major dissolving pulp producers worldwide include Aditya Birla, Sappi, Sateri, Rayonier, Buckeye, and Lenzing, the combined capacity of which in 2012 accounted for 61.4% of the world’s total.
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In 2010, the dissolving pulp capacity of China was no more than 240,000 tons, with the import dependence rate surpassing 80%. The considerable demand for dissolving pulp encouraged many companies to build new dissolving pulp projects, leading to the substantial rise in capacity to 937,500 tons by 2012. However, due to the bleak demand in global textile market as well as the international low-priced dissolving pulp, China-made dissolving pulp products took a nosedive in price, forcing most industrial players to slash their output and even suspend their production in order to reduce losses. In 2012, China’s dissolving pulp output was just about 335,000 tons, with the operating rate down to 35.7%.
The downstream application of dissolving pulp, with the raw materials of wood and bamboo, concentrates in viscose industry. China boasts the world’s largest viscose producing region, with 2012 output making up 62% of the global total. And the China’s viscose output is predicted to keep a growth rate of 10% in upcoming years, further boosting the demand for dissolving pulp. At the same time, the Ministry of Commerce of China is set to launch anti-dumping champion on dissolving pulp projects in Feb.2013. If approved, China-made dissolving pulp is expected to give full play to the advantages as substitutes of its imported equivalents, witnessing double rise in both output and price.
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There were only 9 companies in China in the production of dissolving pulp in 2012. Most of them are medium- and large-sized papermaking and chemical fiber enterprises. Among the papermaking companies, they were Yueyang Forest & Paper, Sun Paper and Fujian Qingshan Paper Industry which were specialized in the production of wood dissolving pulp with the respective capacity of 300,000 tons/a, 200,000 tons/a and 96,000 tons/a; among the chemical fiber players, they were Jilin Chemical Fiber Group and Yibin Grace Group Company which were primarily focused on the production of bamboo dissolving pulp. In particular, Jilin Chemical Fiber Group’s 95,000 tons/a bamboo pulp project is under construction and, is expected to be put into production by the end of 2013.
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