Newsprint exports to India lift Australian exports to new high

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Newsprint exports to India lift Australian exports to new high

A surge in newsprint exports to India pushed Australian exports of paper and paperboard to a new record of 1.211 million tons in the last financial year, according to the 2017 edition of the Pulp & Paper Strategic Review from IndustryEdge. The increase in total exports was more than 65,000 tons, amounting to a 5.7% increase. Packaging and industrial papers – especially Kraftliner and corrugating liners used to manufacture corrugated boxes – have long been the mainstay of Australia’s substantial exports of paper and paperboard but this past year saw exports in newsprint double.

“A large number of countries receive Australia’s high quality, sustainable volumes of packaging materials, with new market opportunities opening up every year, as Australia’s box paper makes its way around the world,” says Tim Woods, MD of IndustryEdge. “Despite the breadth of countries to which deliveries are made, for strategic reasons, supplies to the USA dominate.

 “However, in the 2016-17 financial year, the main contributor to export growth was not the packaging and industrial grades, it was newsprint, exports of which more than doubled compared with the prior year, totalling more than 150,000 tonnes. The majority of shipments were to India.”

 Regardless of growth in exports and strong production volumes and local market shares, fully converted corrugated packaging imports also rose to a new record of more than 41,000 tonnes in 2016-17. The rise from the prior year was almost 18%. “The corrugated packaging market in Australia is becoming ever more complex, and perhaps, increasingly diversified on the supply side,” says Woods.

New Zealand’s total consumption of packaging and industrial papers rose above 400,000 tons for the first time, rising 4.5% on the prior year. “IndustryEdge’s analysis of data and estimates of specific production lead us to conclude that production rose, allowing exports to increase, while imports were almost the same as the prior year,” according to Woods. “As with Australia, exports from New Zealand’s Packaging & Industrial paper sector remain solid, but have weakened in recent years, more because of modest reductions in production than anything else.”

 These matters and others are covered in detail in the 26th annual edition of the Pulp & Paper Strategic Review.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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