Manufacturers of corrugated boxes have urged their buyers to increase sourcing prices, as these units are struggling under a sharp hike in prices and disruptions in the supply of raw materials.

Also, the Wastepaper prices have gone up to ₹22-₹24 per kg from pre-COVID-19 days of ₹10-₹13 a kg.

Mr. Jalan while referring to the Indian Corrugated Case Manufacturers’ Association (ICCMA)’s press release that says the total cost increase for box makers has crossed around 70% cumulatively, on account of paper alone. The packaging industry is bleeding on account of an uncontrolled rise in the cost of its major raw material, Kraft Paper. Kraft Paper Mills cites the increased prices of imported and domestic waste paper on the supply side after the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and international logistics disruptions for the decreased availability.

Further in this article Mr. Gaurav Jalan, Founder, and Director of Packman Packaging Pvt Ltd which is Delhi’s top manufacturer and supplier of Corrugated Boxes says the demand gap and lucrative pricing in China is diverting the long-term output of Indian kraft paper from the local market and forcing up the prices of finished paper and recycled fiber. Exports of recycled kraft paper pulp rolls by Indian kraft paper mills are supposed to reach 2 million tons this year, which is around 20% of total domestic kraft paper production in India.

The corrugated box manufacturers in the country, with around 350 automatic corrugators and more than 10,000 semi-automatic units, the majority of those in MSME sector is facing huge stress on account of these unprecedented cost hikes.

Meanwhile, there is an acute scarcity of waste paper that has been artificially created by a few vested interests. The recycled fiber (waste paper) based paper mills, which account for nearly 70% of paper and paperboard production in India, has made the prices of raw material doubled over the past 6 months.

Few waste paper suppliers are controlling the price and availability of waste paper and as an outcome, there is no choice for paper mills but to reduce their paper production depending on the raw material availability and stock inventory.

In this scenario, it is important that the government needs to intervene and crack down on illegal hoarding.