News

Paper imports touch a new high, raising industry concern

Mumbai | Updated on June 06, 2018 Published on June 06, 2018

bl02_Paper industry

Progressive reduction in basic Customs duty to blame

Paper and paperboard imports have registered the highest-ever annual growth of 31 per cent to 1.9 million tonnes in the financial year ended March 2018.

Imports were at 1.4 mt in FY17, according to the latest data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics. Including newsprint, total imports touched 3.3 million tonnes last fiscal, it added.

Imports of paper and paperboard into India from ASEAN countries, China and South Korea were up 33 per cent, 56 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively. In volume terms, shipments from China reached 5.1 lakh tonnes, while imports from ASEAN and South Korea were pegged at 3.3 lakh tonnes and 1.5 lakh tonnes last fiscal.

In the seven years imports of paper and paperboard have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent, from 0.5 mt to 1.9 mt.

In the same period, imports from ASEAN countries, China and South Korea were up CAGR of 42 per cent, 18 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively.

The sharp increase in imports comes on the back of progressive reduction in the basic Customs duty by India on paper imports under the free trade agreements signed with ASEAN and South Korea.

Expressing concern, Saurabh Bangur, President, Indian Paper Manufacturers Association, said India is the fastest growing market for paper in the world with a growth rate of about 8 per cent per annum on the back of greater emphasis on education and literacy by the government coupled with growth in organised retail trade.

Demand for better quality packaging of FMCG products marketed through organised retail, rising healthcare spends, besides preference for ready-to-eat foods are the key demand drivers for packaging paper.

However, he said domestic manufacturers are grappling with the issue of production cost due to high raw material and energy cost, and facing intense competition from cheap imports flooding the domestic market due to preferential tariffs extended under the FTAs.

Huge investments made by domestic manufacturers should not be jeopardised by allowing preferential import, said Bangur.

Rohit Pandit, Secretary-General, IPMA, said the government needs to provide a level playing field to domestic companies against imports as foreign manufacturers have easy access to captive plantations for raw material and low energy cost.

Published on June 06, 2018

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.