One of my sons spent a month in China in 1999. It was quite a trip for him. One of the things he was most negatively impressed about was the extreme air pollution. Of course, after his visit, industrial growth in China began to advance even more rapidly and the situation became much worse. But, as the linked report points out, the pollution problems are not limited to air pollution. From The Guardian, read about the Dark Side of the Economic Boom, and be sure to watch the video.
For those of you in pulp and paper, I just wanted to mention that there are a few items I hope to have time to post during the next week.
A good friend clued me on to the attached story. Very interesting! You will enjoy reading American Made, Chinese Owned. A few passages follow, but take a few minutes and read this well-written report.
But for hundreds of Chinese companies like Yuncheng, the U.S. has become a better, less expensive place to set up shop. It could be the biggest role reversal since, well … when Nixon went to China. “The gap between manufacturing costs in the U.S. and China is shrinking,” explains John Ling, a naturalized American from China who runs the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s business recruitment office in Shanghai…
While we wait for news on coated free sheet duties, trade relations between the U.S. and China are deteriorating. See the passages that follow and the articles available for you. First, the U.S. imposes new tariffs. Full story here.
The US Department of Commerce imposed tariffs on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imported from China after determining they were being sold in the US at margins ranging from 29.94% to 99.14%. ..A second antidumping petition involving Chinese drillpipe imports is still pending before the ITC, noted Brian T. Petty, executive vice-president for government affairs at the International Association of Drilling Contractors.
The oil and natural gas drilling companies are none too happy.
We covered pulp and pulp prices in last month’s Reel Time. We suggested that (1) pulp prices would rise to at least $1050/tonne, ( probably higher) and the earliest possible peak would be in the fourth quarter. (2) Capacity would come back on line more slowly in Chile than others had expected. Continue Reading
Killing new-born baby girls has been common in China and India for some time. The advent of ultra-sound technology has made the process more efficient, and legal. The government tries to discourage the abortion of female children, but the practice is increasing, not decreasing. The implications are extensive and frightening. Among other things, kidnappings of male children are routine is some areas. The full story, Gendercide: China’s Shameful Massacre of Unborn Girls Means There Will Soon be 30m More Men Than Women, by Peter Hitchens, is sad and shocking. It is also, however, very well written and researched. It is an aspect of the Chinese society that we should be aware of.
The following story, Chinese Consumed Millions of Gallons of Toxic Sewage Oil, might encourage Al Gore to modify his mantra, “Recycle everything!”
The sustainability of Chinese economic growth is a growing concern. More and more we see specific situations that raise questions. The attached report offers another caution. In a nutshell, Chinese economic data is not believable. Go to Lies, Damned Lies, and Chinese Statistics, for good insights on this topic.
NewPage announced results of operations for the fourth quarter and full year today. It is clear that the company has very serious financial issues, but this does not make NewPage unique in our industry. We won’t speak directly to the financials; that is not our area of expertise.
Downtime Reported: Other than the financials, there were a few other items of interest. The company reported that it took 515,000 tons of market related downtime in 2009. See below. Continue Reading
How do you make paper without fiber? It’s hard to do. China does not have large softwood fiber forests necessary to produce newsprint and other groundwood grades. Therefore, its newsprint industry is almost entirely dependent on domestic waste paper recovery and waste paper imports. In spite of this fiber deficit, Chinese newsprint capacity grew dramatically during the last decade, and now stands at roughly five million tonnes. Continue Reading
We wonder about the Chinese strategy of installing so many paper machines that seem unnecessary. They must have access to information that we don’t have and a good game plan.
Well, maybe not. They also build huge cities, at least one of them, that no one lives in. The government stimulus plans in China seem to work about as well as the black liquor subsidies in the U.S.
The following video does raise questions as to whether strong growth in China can be sustained. I certainly hope so. If the Chinese economy collapses, we will not be spared. This is a scary video but one that you will want to watch. Click on the link to see China’s Empty City . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h7V3Twb-Qk