Corrugated boxes retain popularity

World demand for corrugating boxes is forecast to increase 3.4% per year to 213 billion sqm in 2013, in line with real (inflation-adjusted) gains in GDP. In addition, ongoing development in small flute and high-quality graphic board will allow corrugated boxes to penetrate traditional folding carton applications, espe­cially in the developed world. Grea­ter interest in corrugated packaging as a point -of-sale display in retail applications will also boost demand for value-added corrugated boxes. These and other trends are present­ed in »World Corrugated Boxes«, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc, a US-based industry research firm.

Gains will be limited by the ma­ture state of the corrugated box industry in developed areas such as the US, Western Europe and Japan, where boxes are essentially commodity items used in well-estab­lished markets. Corrugated boxes also face competition from reusable plastic shipping crates and other types of plastic packaging. None­theless, corrugated boxes will ben­efit from their environmentally friendly image, as well as certain cost advantages compared to plas­tics crates.

Some of the best gains are ex­pected in China, which will surpass the US as the world’s largest corru­gated box market by 2013; and In­dia, which will benefit from strong growth in industrial output and consumer product markets, as well as greater investment in state of ­the-art manufacturing equipment, resulting in improved product qual­ity. China will account for about half of the increase in demand over the forecast period. www.frost.com

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