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