The paper industry in the country has undergone a transformation of sorts in the last few years. The industry has gone up the sustainability curve and has become far more technologically advanced. The emphasis on education and literacy, coupled with growth in organised retail and demand for better quality paper, are the major drivers of growth. Moreover, there has been continued demand for quality packaging of FMCG products, pharmaceuticals, textiles, organised retail, booming e-commerce, and other segments. As per the IPMA (Indian Paper Manufacturers Association), India is the 15th largest paper producer in the world.
According to the report, "India Paper Market Outlook, 2027-28" published by Bonafide Research, the overall market is anticipated to grow at more than 8% CAGR in terms of value, largely driven by emphasis on education and literacy coupled with growth in organised retail. The paper industry in India looks extremely positive as the demand for downstream paper products, like tissue paper, tea bags, filter paper, light weight online coated paper, medical grade coated paper, etc., is growing. In addition to that, the wet strength papers, tea bag tissue, soft tissue, filter paper, insulation Kraft, extensible Kraft, decorative laminates, overlay tissue, thermal papers, digital papers, coated papers/boards, and some specialty grades of paper are imported from the USA, Europe, Dubai, and Singapore. However, India exports A4 copies, wood free, MG varieties, coated duplex, and large quality of converted products like Stationery items, calendars, books, magazines, children’s play books, and comic grade papers to the Middle East, South Eastern countries, Eastern Europe, and USA.
In early years, the paper industry was majorly dependent on wood as a raw material. However, due to increasing awareness and restrictions on cutting trees, focus has slowly shifted to waste paper and agro residue. The demand is expected to grow on account of an anticipated pick-up from the education sector with improving literacy rates and growing enrolment as well as an increasing number of schools and colleges. Improving literacy rates, rising circulation, and an increasing number of newspapers and magazines are expected to support growth in newsprint demand. The paper and paper products market in India has been segmented into the North, South, East and West. On account of increasing paper consumption, especially of FMCG products, the Western region is the leading consumer of paper and paper products across the country. Paper mills are concentrated in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
The paper mills use a variety of raw materials such as wood, bamboo, bagasse, recycled fiber, wheat straw, rice, and husk. The geographical location of the mill often determines the type of raw material used. Most mills in the northern and western regions of India depend heavily on agricultural residues and wastepaper as their raw materials. While pulp and paper production in the southern and eastern regions uses wood and bamboo as raw materials.
On the other hand, the paper and paperboard packaging businesses experienced growth over the last decade, owing to changes in substrate choice, the expansion of new markets, changing ownership dynamics, and government initiatives to ban plastic. Sustainability and environmental issues continue to be emphasized, and various innovations catering to paper and paperboard packaging are expected to drive market growth in India. For instance, in the last five to seven years, an amount of over Rs 25,000 Crore has been invested in new efficient capacities and the induction of clean and green technologies.
India’s share in the demand for paper across the globe being analysed is growing, as the domestic demand is increasing at a steady pace while the demand in western nations is shrinking. Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT) and ITC are among the largest producers of paper in the country. Moreover, many of the existing players are increasing their capacity to meet the growing demand. However, high cost of production as a result of unavailability and high cost of raw materials; high cost of power and concentration of mills in specific areas only; technological obsolescence as well as environmental challenges are some of the factors hampering the market's growth.
Unlike in some parts of the world, the paper industry in India is not a forest-based industry but an agro-/farm-based industry. India’s paper industry has agroforestry roots and strong backward linkages with the farming community, from whom wood, which is a key raw material, is sourced. As per the IPMA, of the total demand for wood, over 90% is sourced from industry-driven agro/farm forestry, with the rest from the government and other sources. India’s paper industry is wood-positive; that is, it plants more trees than it harvests. Further, the continuous improvement of literacy rates, the enhancement of consumers' healthy lifestyles, E-commerce, consideration of personal grooming and extended lifespan, plus improvements in conditions and distribution channel development in rural areas, have all created opportunities for the expansion of the paper market.
As India's paper industry becomes more competitive through improvements to key ports, roads, railways, and communication facilities, a revision of forest policy for wood-based paper industry is required so that plantation can be raised by industry, farmer cooperatives, and state governments. The emerging segment of paper is speciality paper, which includes paper used in banks, bonds, cheques, currency notes, paper for security printing, stamp paper, etc., and has the wider opportunities for growth in the near future. As aggressive environmental changes and rising pollution in the country make people prefer paper over plastic for packaging, and also the support of the government encourages the use of paper. Due to technological advancement, the wide availability of eco-friendly paper products available encourages the market's growth. Marketers are trying to give more innovative products with high durability, which shows the future growth of the paper market.
Major companies that operate into the paper market in India are ITC Limited, Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL), J K Paper Limited, Ballarpur Industries Limited, Century Pulp and Paper Limited, The West Coast Paper Mills Limited, International Paper APPM Limited, Seshasayee Paper & Boards Limited (SPB), Emami Paper Mills Limited, N R Agarwal Industries Limited (NRAIL).
As for the Indian paper market, there are factories in many cities, and much of the business of paper depends on frequent travel and communication between different continents. The staggered effect of COVID-19 as it swept across the country—hitting some cities harder than others—has reduced the industry’s capacity to communicate effectively. Another consequence of COVID-19, the widespread travel bans and import/export restrictions, has impacted the way that paper companies have been able to manage their clients. Many companies have had to revert to remote meetings, which some consider to be less than ideal. However, with the change in consumer behaviour, the market is anticipated to witness prominent market growth during the upcoming time frame.
Covered in the report:
• India Paper Market
• Paper Board & Industrial Packaging Paper
• Newspaper Print Paper
• Speciality Paper
• Paper Stationery
How it will help solving your strategic decision making process??
The report gives an in-depth understanding of the paper market in India:
• India Paper Market Size By Value & Forecast
• India Paper Board & Industrial Packaging Paper Market Size By Value & Forecast
• India Newspaper Print Market Size By Value & Forecast
• India Speciality Paper Market Size By Value & Forecast
• India Paper Stationery Market Size By Value & Forecast
• Market Size By Value & Volume & Forecast
• India Paper Market Share By Segmental Analysis: By Segment, By Company
• Major Players of the Market
This report can be useful to Industry consultants, manufacturers and other stakeholders to align their market-centric strategies. In addition to marketing & presentations, it will also increase competitive knowledge about the industry.
• Primary Research Data
• Primary research interviews of various channel partners
• Secondary Research Data
• Secondary research database from company annual reports, financial reports and proprietary databases
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