The paper industry and the paper from India have seen explosive growth in the market despite a brief setback during the disruption of the pandemic. India’s exports of paper and paperboard increased by about 80% in the fiscal year 2021–2022 and reached a new high of Rs 13,963 crore.
Over the past five years, India has seen an increase in its exports of paper. India exports papers to Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.
Due to the capacity expansion and technological advancements made by Indian paper mills in recent years, exports have increased. This is because the improved product quality has increased global acceptance.
The rising demand for paper from India
The demand for paper from India and paper-based products has seen a rapid rise owing to the growing middle class. With the globe opening its doors after the pandemic, the country’s paper industry is highly influenced by global growth trends and demands.
India’s economic expansion is predicted to increase paper consumption. According to a Central estimate, India’s GDP is predicted to rise by 7-8%, which is estimated to speed up demand for paper and paperboard. The demand for packaging grades has improved due to an increase in the exportation of various goods. The availability of several modern retail formats, convenience shops, and upscale outlets is pressuring FMCG companies and producers of consumer durables and non-durables to offer creative packaging solutions, which is fuelling the need for more eco-friendly packaging grades.
Segmentation of the paper industry India
The paper industry in India has seen frequent segmentation based on region, applications and the use of raw materials. The market has been divided based on raw material namely; waste & recycled, wood, and agro residue categories. Due to increased concerns about the destruction of forests for the production of pulp, the waste & recycled paper from India is anticipated to dominate the market over the coming years.
The demand for paperboard and packaging is expanding at the quickest rate among the application categories because these materials are used in the FMCG, food and beverage, textile, and industrial applications. Due to reasons including expanding urbanisation, rising demand for ready-to-eat meals, and the need for FMCG items sold through organised retail to have better-quality packaging, the category is also anticipated to dominate the market.
The pandemic-induced interruptions in the guise of industrial lockdowns, reduced demand due to the suspension of schools/colleges, and offices operating in hybrid modes caused the paper industry in India to see a collapsing revenue in FY2021. However, given the sustained demand for packaging paper from the FMCG, pharmaceutical, and eCommerce sectors, the industry is likely to grow in the range of 30 to 31 per cent in FY2022, albeit from a smaller base than FY2021.
A staggering 13,963 crore record for Indian paper and paperboard exports is what a recent update from the IPMA indicates which is nearly a growth of 80 per cent. The rise in export can be attributed to multiple grades of paper and products with paperboard and coated papers seeing the maximum growth of 100 per cent, while other paper grades like writing and printing paper witnessed a 98 per cent growth. This growing trend can be seen in the last half-decade with which the Indian market has tremendously flourished.
The global leaders
India is becoming one of the most exciting markets for the paper and pulp industry and several countries like China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, UAE, Saudi Arabia and others souring a majority of paper from India. As technological advancements and upgrades become centre stage for paper mills and factories across the nation, capacity expansion has been a boon. The fact that India is now able to export 2.85 million tonnes of paper, rising from the mere 0.66 million tonnes in 2016-17 speaks volumes of how far the industry has come.
The affinity towards the reliance on more sustainable solutions for the pulp and paper industry in India has proven to be a worthwhile outlook for both the government and major players in the industry. The last seven to five years have seen a massive investment of over 25,000 crores which has helped create new opportunities for modernisation and the introduction of cleaner and greener alternatives for the production of paper in India, making India a net exporter of paper in terms of volume in the last two financial years.
Persisting through challenges and difficulties, the Indian paper and pulp industry is on the cusp of transforming itself with wonderful breakthroughs and technological implementations. Switching to a more sustainable approach is not only helping keep the prices realistic but also helps take care of the environment. And with the growing anti-plastic sentiments, there seems to be no downward trend for this industry.
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