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Future of paper and printing industry spotlighted

Thursday, 11 August 2005
By Print 21 Online Article

Titled A Study of the Paper and Printing Industry in Australia, the report was commissioned from consulting firm Deloitte in late 2004 with sponsorship from Swanbank Paper. Its findings suggest that while the market for paper in Australia is small, it has a modest but increasing rate of consumption per capita paper in relation to other regions like North America and Europe.

Label, instant and digital printing, and the print and delivery sectors are emphasized as the major growth sectors of the Australian printing industry. The study claims more than 70 per cent of larger printing organisations are considering internal process improvements to deliver better profit margins, and that the industry consolidation will continue as larger players seek to build competitive advantage through scale economies.

Printing Industries acting CEO Philip Andersen marks the study as a strategic tool for companies undertaking strategic planning. “The study is divided into two major areas – paper manufacturing and printing,” he says. “These provide key findings and an overview of each area. Paper manufacturing looks at domestic consumption and paper manufacturing, imports and paper consumption forecasts.” he said.

“Individual sections cover instant print, paper imports, paper merchants, converting, sheet fed, web print, labels, books, greeting cards, paper packaging, print management, newspapers, print and delivery, digital print and print press manufacturing.” Info on international markets is also included, with a special emphasis on China and its potential impact on print and paper markets.

Swanbank Paper CEO Joe Foster claims the study will be a valuable tool in assisting his organisation with investment decisions. “The industry has long needed a comprehensive survey, and we are confident it will be valuable to industry participants and other interested parties looking at the future potential and direction of the Australian paper and printing industry.”

The study forecasts a steady increase for domestic paper and paperboard consumption, rising from 3.5 million tonnes in 2003 to more than 4 million tonnes by 2008, and Foster claims Swanbank Paper will be a significant part of this growth. “Our confidence in the Australian market is such that we have committed significant resources to provide for the expected continued growth in paper consumption into the future,” he says.

The report also looks at current and future profit and capital expenditure trends, paper consumption by types of paper, grade, and grammage. Import and export trends are also discussed, along with the impact of digital media and future environmental pressures.

A A Study of the Paper and Printing Industry in Australiacan be purchased from any Printing Industries office, via the online bookstore at or by calling 1800 227 425.

Industry Demographics

1. The industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Australia employing more than 115,000 people.

2. Small to medium businesses dominate the industry with 85.3 per cent employing less than 20 people; 94.4 per cent less than 50 and 97.5 per cent less than 100.

3. The number of establishments in the industry total about 5,000 and are spread across Australia having a physical presence in every region.

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