Global corrugated board packaging market projected to hit US$67B by 2017, up from US$52B in 2011, Pira study projects, citing increasing demand for certain end-use products that correlate with hectic lifestyle of modern consumers

Sandy Yang

Sandy Yang

Sep 11, 2012 – Smithers Pira

LEATHERHEAD, England , September 11, 2012 (press release) – The corrugated board packaging industry, worth $52 billion as of 2011, is set to see its value swell by an additional $15 billion over the next five years according to the latest market intelligence from Smithers Pira.

A new study - The Future of Global Markets for Corrugated Board Packaging to 2017 - examines the development of the containerboard packaging market over the 2007-2012 period and provides forecasts for the evolution of the industry until 2017. The 558-page report links the rapid expansion of the sector - a growth of 29% - to increasing demand for certain end-use products which correlate with the hectic lifestyle of the modern consumer.

Actual consumption of corrugated board currently stands at 102 million tonnes as of 2011, itself a significant increase on 99.5 million tonnes for the preceding year. This figure is expected to undergo an average annual growth of 4.4% throughout the timescale of the study, achieving an end value of 130 million tonnes.

Packaging for chilled, takeaway and ready-cooked foods is set to be a primary factor for growth in the market, with Smithers Pira identifying the rising demand for convenience as a key propellant. It is increasingly clear that the ever-accelerating momentum of urban life is generating a need for time- and effort-saving solutions that fall within the corrugated board packaging market's remit.

Environmental concerns also are acting as a catalyst to drive research, such as new developments in lightweighting and resource-effectiveness. As such, contemporary realities both require and provide that corrugated board packaging remain a technological and scientific leader. The report investigates some of the industry's upcoming cornerstone developments for the near future.

The balance of consumption is likely to shift ever further towards economically developing regions such as China, India, Brazil and Eastern Europe, indicative of the increasing urbanisation and growing consumer markets present in these areas. Already the largest containerboard market, Asia is set to dominate demand with over half of corrugated board consumption in the next 5 years. China, especially, will be accountable for 70% of the net rise in containerboard production. Conversely the North American and Western European markets are both likely to shrink in relative importance, each contracting by around 3% by 2017 according to Smithers Pira's projections.

Global Consumption of Corrugated board

Source: Smithers Pira

Processed food currently forms the single largest segment for end-use corrugated board packaging, encompassing a quarter of all consumption, while fresh food and produce represents 9% and beverages 7%. Non-food products however still compose an absolute majority, providing relatively flexible opportunities in all sectors of the market. Smithers Pira predicts packaging for electrical goods and personal and household care products to be the richest sectors for growth, again connected to trends in urbanisation.

Corrugated board is defined as containing at least three layers of board, those on the outside flat and on the inside fluted. The internal triangular structure of this fluting provides the board with its trademark strength and durability. Corrugated board is extremely versatile, with prominent packaging applications ranging from food to ceramics to tobacco.

Based on data garnered from over 750 board mills and 80 corrugated converters worldwide and supplemented with desk and telephone research, The Future of Global Markets for Corrugated Board Packaging to 2017 spares no effort in scrutinising the past, present and future of the corrugated board industry in terms of material, end-use and geographical segmentation. Compiling hundreds of tables covering every possible market angle and annotated with quality expert analysis, this major new study is the definitive handbook for benchmarking and strategic planning in the corrugated industry of today and tomorrow.

Smithers Pira
Smithers Pira - the worldwide authority on packaging, paper and print industry supply chains

Established in 1930, Smithers Pira provides strategic and technical consulting, testing, intelligence and events to help clients gain market insights, identify opportunities, evaluate product performance and manage compliance.

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