Newsprint exports to India lift Australian exports to new high

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.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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