Worldwide, total exports of toilet paper by country equaled US$4.5 billion in 2019. That dollar amount represents an 11% gain for all toilet paper shippers over the five-year period starting in 2015. Year over year, the value of exported toilet paper increased 5.4% from 2018 to 2019.
Adopting a continental perspective, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported toilet paper during 2019 with shipments valued at $2.2 billion or 51.3% of the global total. In second place were exporters in Asia at 27.7% while 12% of international toilet paper shipments originated from North America. Smaller amounts came from Latin America (5.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (2.4%) and Oceania (0.5%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
The 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for toilet paper in rolls is 481810.
Top Toilet Paper Exporters by Country
Below are the 25 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of toilet paper in rolls during 2019.
- China: US$1.1 billion (23.5% of total exported toilet paper)
- Germany: $373.3 million (8.3%)
- France: $201.8 million (4.5%)
- Sweden: $201.6 million (4.5%)
- Canada: $191.3 million (4.3%)
- Italy: $185.2 million (4.1%)
- United States: $177.2 million (4%)
- Poland: $170.5 million (3.8%)
- El Salvador: $159.6 million (3.6%)
- Mexico: $119.8 million (2.7%)
- United Kingdom: $114.4 million (2.6%)
- Portugal: $113.3 million (2.5%)
- Austria: $104.8 million (2.3%)
- Spain: $102.7 million (2.3%)
- Egypt: $98.5 million (2.2%)
- Belgium: $92.8 million (2.1%)
- Slovakia: $86.2 million (1.9%)
- Turkey: $63 million (1.4%)
- Netherlands: $60.8 million (1.4%)
- Malaysia: $58 million (1.3%)
- Slovenia: $55.6 million (1.2%)
- United Arab Emirates: $45.9 million (1%)
- Guatemala: $39.4 million (0.9%)
- Switzerland: $39.3 million (0.9%)
- Serbia: $39.1 million (0.9%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 88.1% worth of all toilet paper exported in 2019 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing toilet paper exporters since 2015 were: Portugal (up 103%), Turkey (up 102.1%), Malaysia(up 55.4%), Serbia (up 52.7%), Netherlands (up 43%), El Salvador (up 40%) and Switzerland (up 35.3%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported toilet paper sales over the 5-year period were led by: United States (down -37.6%), Egypt (down -20.3%), Italy (down -16.6%), Slovakia (down -12.7%), Canada (down -0.9%) and United Arab Emirates (down -0.3%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for toilet paper in rolls during 2019. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported toilet paper and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- China: US$1 billion (net export surplus up 23.8% since 2015)
- Italy: $173.6 million (down -19%)
- Sweden: $157.8 million (up 21.7%)
- El Salvador: $142.4 million (up 45.7%)
- Poland: $135.4 million (up 43.7%)
- Mexico: $112.2 million (up 9.2%)
- Egypt: $96 million (down -20.8%)
- Portugal: $75.7 million (up 165.9%)
- Slovakia: $64.5 million (down -16.4%)
- Turkey: $62.5 million (up 104%)
- Germany: $59.7 million (up 26.8%)
- United Kingdom: $58.7 million (up 62.4%)
- Malaysia: $52.4 million (up 54.4%)
- Canada: $43.9 million (down -363.3%)
- Indonesia: $36 million (down -4.2%)
The People’s Republic of China profited with the highest surplus in the international trade of toilet paper. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms China’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for toilet paper in rolls during 2019. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported toilet paper purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- United States: -US$151 million (net export deficit up 80.7% since 2015)
- Hong Kong: -$118.6 million (down -5.2%)
- Denmark: -$112 million (up 3.4%)
- Netherlands: -$98.4 million (down -15.5%)
- Ireland: -$87.5 million (down -7.2%)
- Norway: -$86.9 million (down -7.4%)
- Czech Republic: -$77.4 million (up 14.9%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$74.8 million (up 5.8%)
- Australia: -$64.2 million (up 3.7%)
- Honduras: -$50.6 million (down -2.4%)
- Costa Rica: -$46.6 million (up 13.4%)
- Nicaragua: -$44.9 million (down -0.8%)
- Japan: -$35.5 million (down -52.6%)
- Switzerland: -$33.9 million (down -27.6%)
- Croatia: -$31.1 million (down -2.2%)
The United States of America incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of toilet paper. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights America’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for toilet paper-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Toilet Paper Exporting Companies
Below are companies in China or the United States that represent established players engaged in the international trade of toilet paper and other sanitary tissue products. Their home country is shown within parenthesis.
- Changchun Hongli Paper Co., Ltd (China)
- Chongqing Donsea Paper Co., Ltd (China)
- Georgia-Pacific (United States)
- Kimberly Clark (United States)
- Lianyungang Huide Trading Co., Ltd (China)
- Procter & Gamble (United States)
- Scott Paper Company (United States)
- Shanghai Clean Paper Co., Ltd (China)
- Shenzhen Telling Commodity Co., Ltd (China)
- Yiwu HLD Commodity Manufactory Co., Ltd (China)
See also Paper Exports by Country, Top Newsprint Exports by Country and Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Exports by Country
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for toilet paper in rolls. Accessed on April 1, 2020
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on April 1, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 1, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 1, 2020
Wikipedia, Toilet paper. Accessed on April 1, 2020