Global industrial printer shipments decline by 47% in Q2 – IDC

Asia Pacific does relatively better in direct-to-garment printers

Global industrial printer shipments decline by 47% in Q2 – IDC
Lockdown disrupts supply chain Photo: Pxhere

IDC’s new Worldwide Quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker shows that the Covid-19 crisis significantly impacted industrial printer shipments worldwide in the second quarter of 2020. The industrial printer market, comprised of the large format, packaging and label, direct-to shape, direct-to-garment, and industrial textile printer segments, saw worldwide shipments decline 46.8% year over year in the second quarter.

“With much of the world still in shutdown or just starting to come out of shutdown at the end of the second quarter, no segment or region was spared,” said Tim Greene, research director, Hardcopy Peripherals at IDC. “While our research indicates many global manufacturers are rethinking supply chains to meet resilience and sustainability goals, those are longer-term initiatives. Shipments and hardware revenue across the large format and industrial printer market have declined due to near-term challenges such as government shutdowns and capital budget cuts.”

Regional highlights

The Asia Pacific region showed the start of a recovery in the second quarter. There was some growth in shipments compared to the first quarter in the direct-to-shape, industrial textile, large format, and label and packaging segments.
However, in North America, shipments declined by over 20% in Q2, while shipments in Europe decreased by almost 42% compared to the first quarter.

Direct-to-garment printer shipments decline 20% in Q2

According to IDC, shipments in the direct-to-garment segment declined just over 20% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. In comparison, shipments in the direct-to-shape segment declined by over 26% in the second compared to the first quarter.

Industrial textile printer shipments contracted just 7% compared to the first quarter, with growth in the Asia Pacific region offsetting declines in other regions. Label and packaging unit shipments declined by 12.5% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter.

Large format printer shipments declined almost 25% worldwide in the second quarter compared to first.

Market expected to stabilize in H2

Looking ahead, IDC expects both units and shipment value will stabilize in the second half of 2020 as the various geographic regions go through their phases of recovery. The year 2021 is still expected to be a recovery year as IDC anticipates economic recovery and supply chain digitization to drive investments in more flexible manufacturing technologies such as industrial printing solutions.

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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