Year over year, the global total for exported toilet paper dropped by -12.2% compared to $4.44 billion during 2020.
The 5 biggest exporters of toilet paper are mainland China, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Italy. Combined, that quintet of major international suppliers sold well over one-third of globally exported toilet paper in 2021.
Adopting a continental perspective, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported toilet paper during 2021 with shipments valued at $2.15 billion or 55.1% of the world’s total. In second place were exporters in Asia at 20.7% while another 12.7% of international toilet paper shipments originated from North America.
Smaller amounts came from Latin America (8.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (2.4%), and Oceania (0.6%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
For research purposes, 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 2021.
- China: US$524.6 million (13.5% of total toilet paper exports)
- Germany: $328.2 million (8.4%)
- Canada: $210.2 million (5.4%)
- Sweden: $197.6 million (5.1%)
- Italy: $186.8 million (4.8%)
- El Salvador: $173 million (4.4%)
- Poland: $171.8 million (4.4%)
- France: $160.2 million (4.1%)
- United States: $150.2 million (3.9%)
- Mexico: $133.1 million (3.4%)
- Spain: $123.5 million (3.2%)
- Austria: $120.8 million (3.1%)
- Portugal: $117.6 million (3%)
- Belgium: $95.3 million (2.4%)
- United Kingdom: $92.6 million (2.4%)
- Slovakia: $86.1 million (2.2%)
- Guatemala: $76.5 million (2%)
- Netherlands: $64.1 million (1.6%)
- Turkey: $63.5 million (1.6%)
- Slovenia: $56.8 million (1.5%)
- Russia: $54.7 million (1.4%)
- Egypt: $51.9 million (1.3%)
- United Arab Emirates: $41.4 million (1.1%)
- Malaysia: $39.6 million (1%)
- South Africa: $38.7 million (1%)
By value, the listed 25 countries shipped 86.1% of global toilet paper exported in 2021 .
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing toilet paper exporters since 2020 were: Netherlands (up 18.8%), South Africa (up 15.8%), Guatemala (up 15.1%) and Slovakia (up 14.2%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported toilet paper sales were led by: mainland China (down -43%), Mexico (down -33.9%), Malaysia (down -17.2%), United Kingdom (down -14.7%) and the United States of America (down -13.5%).
Countries Earning Greatest Trade Surpluses from Toilet Paper
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for toilet paper in rolls during 2021. 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$516.1 million (net export surplus down -43.5% since 2020)
- Italy: $175.8 million (down -13.4%)
- El Salvador: $150.1 million (up 9.9%)
- Sweden: $148.9 million (down -1.5%)
- Mexico: $130.7 million (down -32.7%)
- Poland: $129.3 million (down -8.1%)
- Canada: $81.2 million (up 76.6%)
- Portugal: $74.8 million (down -10.7%)
- Germany: $67.3 million (reversing a -$13.5 million deficit)
- Slovakia: $64.8 million (up 15.5%)
- Turkey: $62.4 million (down -12.9%)
- Egypt: $51.7 million (up 14.2%)
- Spain: $49.2 million (up 44.5%)
- Russia: $39.6 million (up 2.6%)
- South Africa: $38.1 million (up 15.1%)
The People’s Republic of China profited with the highest surplus in the international trade of toilet paper. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms mainland China’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Countries Facing Worst Trade Deficits from Toilet Paper
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for toilet paper in rolls during 2021. 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$216.1 million (net export deficit down -37.6% since 2020)
- Hong Kong: -$125.9 million (up 3.1%)
- Netherlands: -$111.2 million (up 9.2%)
- Norway: -$98.4 million (up 8.7%)
- Denmark: -$93.7 million (up 0.5%)
- Ireland: -$86.4 million (up 5.6%)
- Czech Republic: -$85.2 million (up 19.4%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$67.7 million (down -32.4%)
- Costa Rica: -$67.1 million (up 6.5%)
- Honduras: -$65.8 million (up 11.3%)
- Australia: -$55.9 million (down -23.9%)
- Switzerland: -$49.2 million (up 56.4%)
- Nicaragua: -$48 million (up 0.6%)
- Japan: -$39.8 million (down -7.9%)
- Croatia: -$35.9 million (up 22%)
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, Paper Imports by Country, Top Newsprint Exports by Country, Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Exports by Country and Perfumes Exporters by Country Plus Average Prices
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Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on August 21, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 21, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 21, 2022
Wikipedia, Toilet paper. Accessed on August 21, 2022