From 2019 to 2020, the global total for exported toilet paper flatlined via a -0.4% slowdown.
The 5 biggest exporters (China, Germany, Italy, Canada, Mexico) generated 41.6% of overall sales for exported toilet paper during 2020.
Adopting a continental perspective, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported toilet paper during 2020 with shipments valued at $2.2 billion or 48.8% of the global total. In second place were exporters in Asia at 28.9% while 12.9% of international toilet paper shipments originated from North America.
Smaller amounts came from Latin America (7.2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (1.9%) and Oceania (0.4%) 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 2020.
- China: US$921.2 million (20.8% of total exported toilet paper)
- Germany: $320.4 million (7.2%)
- Italy: $209.2 million (4.7%)
- Canada: $199.1 million (4.5%)
- Mexico: $198.1 million (4.5%)
- Sweden: $197.4 million (4.4%)
- France: $183.5 million (4.1%)
- Poland: $176.6 million (4%)
- United States: $173.5 million (3.9%)
- El Salvador: $156.8 million (3.5%)
- Portugal: $122.6 million (2.8%)
- Austria: $110.1 million (2.5%)
- Spain: $109.7 million (2.5%)
- United Kingdom: $108.3 million (2.4%)
- Belgium: $88.4 million (2%)
- Slovakia: $75.6 million (1.7%)
- Turkey: $73 million (1.6%)
- Guatemala: $66.5 million (1.5%)
- United Arab Emirates: $61.4 million (1.4%)
- Netherlands: $52.4 million (1.2%)
- Slovenia: $52 million (1.2%)
- Russia: $52 million (1.2%)
- Malaysia: $47.8 million (1.1%)
- Indonesia: $47.5 million (1.1%)
- Egypt: $45.7 million (1%)
The listed 25 countries shipped 86.7% of global toilet paper exports in 2020 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing toilet paper exporters since 2019 were: Mexico (up 94%), Indonesia (up 81.7%), Russia (up 41.7%) and the United Arab Emirates (up 27.7%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported toilet paper sales were led by: Malaysia (down -17.6%), Netherlands (down -16%), Germany (down -14.3%), China (down -12.6%) and Slovakia (down -12.1%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for toilet paper in rolls during 2020. 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$914.2 million (net export surplus down -12.8% since 2019)
- Italy: $199 million (up 14.7%)
- Mexico: $195.5 million (up 97.8%)
- Sweden: $151.7 million (down -3.8%)
- Poland: $140.7 million (up 3.7%)
- El Salvador: $136.5 million (down -4.1%)
- Portugal: $83 million (up 9.4%)
- Turkey: $71.7 million (up 14.5%)
- Slovakia: $56.3 million (down -12.7%)
- Indonesia: $47.4 million (up 81.9%)
- United Kingdom: $46.8 million (down -16.4%)
- Canada: $46 million (up 4.7%)
- Egypt: $45.3 million (down -9.6%)
- United Arab Emirates: $43.9 million (up 52%)
- Malaysia: $43.4 million (down -17.3%)
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.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for toilet paper in rolls during 2020. 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$346.7 million (net export deficit up 129.7% since 2019)
- Hong Kong: -$122.1 million (up 3%)
- Netherlands: -$107.7 million (up 10.8%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$100 million (up 46.2%)
- Denmark: -$93.5 million (down -17%)
- Norway: -$90.5 million (up 4.2%)
- Ireland: -$82 million (down -4.3%)
- Australia: -$73.4 million (up 14.2%)
- Czech Republic: -$71.7 million (down -5.1%)
- Costa Rica: -$63 million (up 3.5%)
- Honduras: -$58.7 million (down -5.5%)
- Nicaragua: -$47.8 million (down -0.1%)
- Singapore: -$44.2 million (up 63.1%)
- Japan: -$43.2 million (up 22.2%)
- Switzerland: -$31.5 million (down -7.1%)
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 July 10, 2021
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on July 10, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 10, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 10, 2021
Wikipedia, Toilet paper. Accessed on July 10, 2021