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Is the U.S. a Good Benchmark for China's Tissue Industry Development?

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White Paper

Xia Min, Senior Consultant, Fisher International

Tissue has been an increasingly hot investment sector in China, driven by the rising wealth and changing consumer habits. Tissue is replacing cloth handkerchiefs and rags as China is gradually adopting Western living styles and increasing hygiene awareness.

This study shows how rapid the growth of tissue was in China between 2010 and 2017. Its capacity tripled and the growth rate was incredible at 19% CAGR. China surpassed the U.S. to be the biggest tissue producer in 2013 and since then it has kept a leading position in total tissue production and consumption.

With the worldwide largest population base, China is a promising market for tissue products. But how large can it get? As a mature market, the U.S. is always mentioned as a benchmark indicator for China, especially in terms of consumption per capita. But, will China achieve the same individual consumption level as that of the U.S.? The answer is not that straightforward.

GDP per capita is a well-known significant driver for tissue demand. At the current GDP per capita level, China is far behind the U.S. in individual tissue consumption.

In the future, could China catch up to the U.S., assuming its GDP per capita reaches a comparable level as that of the U.S. today?

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