Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Jan 09, 2004

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Opinion - Budget
Industry & Economy - Paper, Board & Newsprint

Paper: No blots

S. Vaidya Nathan

PAPER manufacturers are unlikely to be affected in FY 04 and at least in the first six months of FY 2005.

The international prices of most paper varieties and paper boards have been on a gradual uptrend over the past nine months.

As advertisement spending in the US is expected to rise by about 4 per cent in 2005 after two years of sluggishness, the demand for newsprint — the weakest link among paper varieties in terms of prices — is expected to show smart growth.

Continued strength in demand from China and Korea and the economic recovery underway in the US and parts of Europe, are likely to lead to a firmer undertone in demand for paper.

This may improve price levels steadily and influence the domestic market.

Major players such as Tamil Nadu Newsprint, West Coast Paper, Seshasayee Paper, J K Paper and Ballarpur Industries, to name a few, have undertaken modernisation and cost-reduction efforts.

This also provides them with a degree of cushion against lower import tariffs and appreciation in the value of the rupee.

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Flash Budget

Capital goods: On thin edge
Tyres: A better tread
Power: A positive push for power
FMCGs: Cuts both ways
Auto components: Relief in quick time
Computer hardware: Keyed up
Steel: Firm prices save the day
Hotels and tourism — More room for optimism
Paper: No blots
Petrochemicals: Party in the pipeline
Non-ferrous metals: Sheen to continue
Consumer durables: Less pricey, more competitive
Puzzle of Powell
Textiles, post-MFA — The dragon of spindles
Sensex and the doctrine of caveat emptor
Voluntary retirement
Regional cooperation

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