India beats China in paper market growth despite dumping fears

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New Delhi | Updated: January 15, 2019 7:25:19 AM

India has emerged as the world’s fastest growing paper market with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-7%, cocking a snook at China, the biggest consumer of paper globally.

The Rs 60,000-crore paper industry logged this robust growth. (Express photo)

India has emerged as the world’s fastest growing paper market with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-7%, cocking a snook at China, the biggest consumer of paper globally.

The Rs 60,000-crore paper industry logged this robust growth, fighting both raw material scarcity and competition from cheaper imports, according to outlook analysis by IPMA (Indian Paper Manufacturers Association).

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“China’s paper market has grown only 4.6% per year, while the global paper production in the current year is projected to grow 1-1.5%. In the last 10 years, the domestic demand has almost doubled from around 9 million tonne in FY 2007-08 to over 17 million tonne in 2017-18. At the same time, with a CAGR of 6-7%, India counts on touching about 20 million tonne by FY 2019-20,” AS Mehta, President, IPMA told FE.

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Even as the growth statistics are rosy as never before, IPMA’s annual meet was disturbed by the issues of competitive cost, amidst the government policy of giving preferential tariff treatment to import of paper and paperboard under different FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) and other bilateral trade pacts.

In the last seven years, imports of paper and paperboard have risen at a CAGR of 16.11% in value terms (from Rs 3,411 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 9,702 crore in 2017-18), and 18.15% in volume terms (from 0.54 million tonne in 2010-11 to 1.72 million tonne in 2017-18). Imports are growing at a very high rate as compared to the increase in domestic production rate, according to Saurabh Bangur, outgoing President, IPMA.

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“We are able to keep 5,00,000 farmers in employment through agro-industry initiative in a scale unequalled by any other industry and yet are unable to make matching strides in ‘Make in India’ initiative because of the import policy restraints”, he said.

Meanwhile, the party is only starting for the Indian paper industry, if one looks at the sheer potential.

“With a per capita consumption of paper being only 13-14 kg per annum in India as compared to the global average of 57 kg — not to talk about around 200 kg in developed countries — the opportunity for growth in our country is huge”, said Harsh Pati Singhania, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JK Paper.

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