Sri Lankan corrugated carton industry faces headwinds over rising prices of paper

Sri Lankan corrugated carton industry faces headwinds over rising prices of paper

196
corrugated carton
Sri Lankan carton industry facing increasing price of paper

The corrugated carton industry in Sri Lanka faces pressure and unprecedented challenges as the global prices of all types of papers continue to skyrocket since October last year, Lanka Carton Corrugated Manufacturers’ Association said recently. 

Many corrugated and brown box manufacturers are going through the most challenging situation in the industry’s history and fears growing as it’s a prolonged period and no sign of it easing up anytime soon, stressed the Lanka Corrugated Carton Manufacturers’ Association.

The brown kraftliner and brown recycled grades, including testliner, and corrugated medium papers, are expected to rise. During the last four months alone, prices have gone up by as much as over 50%, it said. 

It comes in the wake of a drastic shortage in paper due to the pandemic coupled with disruptions in supply chains, including costly freight charges. Further, there has been a significant rise in demand for papers from China to meet its domestic needs following the country’s ban on importing all wastes from various countries, mainly direct recovered paper, from earlier this year. 

This resulted in Chinese paper mills importing recycled brown pulp and recycled and unbleached Kraft linerboard to use it as a pulp or a fiber source to produce paper, apart from counting on other sources such as local recovered paper within the country, imported recycled as well as virgin pulp.

Lanka Carton Corrugated Manufacturers’ Association said that the recent second wave of coronavirus in the EU and the US is taking its toll in these countries, which has affected waste paper collection, leading to problems in its availability and rise in prices. 

Sri Lanka’s total carton production stands at 150,000 metric tons annually, primarily serving the B2B market. More than 40 corrugated carton manufacturers and about ten of them make up a whopping 70% plus market share. Today, many manufacturers are equipped with fully-automatic, state-of-the-art plants with an appetite to continuously invest in innovation, research, and development to increase the quality, consistency, and durability of their cartons.

“Needless to say, corrugated box manufacturing is an eco-friendly industry recycling brown boxes as well as waste paper. And it certainly deserves various avenues and opportunities to sustain and thrive in its operations, and this is a critical moment for key stakeholders, authorities, and officials to step in and help support the industry,” it said.

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

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here