Rising paper demand

Rising stocks of paper companies


The share prices of paper companies have risen by 89% over the past month after strong earnings reported by primary producers for the quarter ended June. Leading branded copier maker JK Paper’s share price rose 89% on the BSE to trade currently at Rs. 188. International Paper APPM’s share price has risen 49% to Rs. 465. Significant rises have also been seen in the shares of Ballarpur Industries, Seshasayee Paper, West Coast Paper and Tamil Nadu Newsprint, among others.

Cost improvement measures over the past years have started yielding results. The depreciating rupee also made paper import from other countries costlier with paper producers increasing paper prices to match the landed cost. Paper stocks are likely to remain firm in the medium firm as long as the rupee continues to hold at the current level of around Rs. 70 against the dollar or depreciates further.

V Kumaraswamy, finance head at JK Papers, said that though there hasn’t been any capacity addition over the past few years, the paper demand continues to grow at a normal rate. The depreciating rupee has also resulted in the demand turning towards local players.
Saurabh Bangur, vice chairman at West Coast Paper Mills, said that the prices of all varieties of paper had risen so far this year by 5-7%, reflecting a surge in demand. The prices in international market have also risen by varieties, by US$ 100 to US$ 150 a ton to US$ 750 to US$ 800 a ton currently attributable to the rising demand in China.
JK Paper’s net profit rose a little over 50% to Rs. 95.1 million for the June quarter 2018 from the corresponding period last year. Emami Papers rose nearly seven-fold to Rs. 20.6 million. Company shares also got support from rising demand for the packaging variety in states such as Maharashtra, which had imposed a partial ban on use of plastics.

According to the data compiled by Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA), the country’s import of paper and paperboard rose to a record of close to 1.9 million tons for 2017-18, compared to a little over 1.4 million tons the previous year. Newsprint import, however, fell to 1.45 million tons for the year, from close to 1.6 million tons in 2016-17.
On Monday, shares of International Paper and Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers declined by up to 5% because of BSE’s decision to put them under a surveillance due to a sudden run-up.
As reported in Business Standard

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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