Associate director, Choice Broking
India is currently ranked 15th among paper producing countries in the world, with an estimated demand of 14.70 million tonnes, which is expected to rise to 25 million tonnes by 2024-25. Moreover, with India maintaining its status as one of the fastest growing economies as well as one of the fastest growing paper market, it is estimated that paper consumption could increase in excess of 50% to 20 million tonnes by 2020. We feel this growth will be driven by: Economic development in India, which will result in increase in demand by key manufacturing sectors as their requirement for paper will increase, Booming e-commerce market, which will increase demand for packaging materials such as cardboard, labels, cartons etc., Government's push to increase literacy in India, via various initiatives. While we have a positive outlook towards the industry, one must keep a keen eye on the import front of the paper industry as over the past 5 years imports have grown at a CAGR of 8% in volume terms. Furthermore, import duties on paper and paperboard in ASEAN countries currently stands at Nil, thus resulting in import growth of 40% per annum. In addition to imports, the industry also faces threat from increased focus on digitisation and paperless transactions. However, given the government's increased impetus on education, along with increased demand from the packaging material industry, we expect the Indian paper industry to witness significant growth and remain one of the fastest growing paper industries in the world.