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The paper industry situation in India

  In most of the past decade, the Indian paper industry,which isin perpetual crisis despite its above GDP growth rate( www.ippstar.org), is alternately praising the government andlooking for some concessions from it. The Covid-19 pandemichas practically wiped out the publication paper segment,described as 'writing and printing'paper and includesnewsprint.


  The lockdowns and the continuing constraints of an economycoming back toward full production while the pandemic is notfully under control have meant a big hit in newspaper printingand a collapse in textbook production. Schools are still closed inmany parts of the country, and there is a lack of clarity whenthey will physically open again.Bookshops also remain closedin many parts of the country. However,bookshops were declared essential in Kerala and allowed to open withinprotocols soon after the March lockdown.

  China,which had banned waste paper and plastic imports acouple of years ago, is said to have reentered the wastemarket, and this has increased the global demand for wastepaper and driven up the price,which varies from uS$ 200 touS$ 220 per metric ton.Industry sources also say that the costof sea freight has gone up by us$ 100 to 150 per ton in thepast month. In the continuing triangle of goods suppliers, linerand corrugated box manufacturers, the idea is how to raise theprice of recycled liner by another Rupee, in other words, how to increase the cost to Rs. 28 or Rs. 29 whenthe box makers and buyers are reluctant to absorb higherprices.