Recyclability cited as kraft paper growth factor

Ohio-based research firm Smithers cites sustainability and recycling factors as one reason for forecasted growth in the global production of kraft paper. Growth in that sector is forecast in the firm’s recently released report “The Future of Sack & Kraft Paper to 2027.”

“Growth is forecast on the back of significant developments in sustainability in the bag kraft market: paper retail shopping bags are enjoying sustained growth, with increased use of recycled materials,” states the company regarding the near-term future of the brown paper grade.

The report, authored by paper industry veteran Stephen Harrod, puts an $11.4 billion value on kraft paper consumption globally in 2022. The sector “is expected to see a 3.7 percent growth rate to 2027, where the market will be worth $13.2 billion (at constant 2021 prices),” according to Smithers

This year, nearly 11 million metric tons of sack and kraft paper are likely to be produced, Harrod finds. With an annual growth rate of just 2.8 percent, that figure would reach 12.6 million metric tons in 2027, according to Smithers.

Increased demand “is especially noticeable in food packaging applications, whose share of the global market is expected to increase from under 60 percent of the total 2017 volume to more than 63 percent of the forecast volume demand in 2027,” the research firm predicts.

The main driver for that growth is expected to be in the dry foods market, including products such as flour, sugar and rice, as well as in fresh produce applications like vegetables and potatoes. Growth also is forecast because of the sustainability- and recyclability-related growth in retail kraft shopping bag demand, says Smithers.

The Smithers report, currently available for about $6,000, includes recently revised end use application data, especially in the building materials sector, together with updated raw material pricing. The report also provides what Smithers calls historical, current and forecast demand data for the market from 2017 to 2027.

Smithers says its report is based on primary research that includes “targeted interviews with material suppliers, converters and experts drawn from key markets,” and secondary research in the form of an analysis of published data, government statistics, domestic and international trade organization data, company websites, industry reports, trade press articles, presentations and attendance at trade events.

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