Australians continue to buy diaries… by the kilogram apparently

image_pdfConvert to PDF

The value of Australia’s stationery imports lifted a very modest 2.6% year-ended May 2022. In an inflationary environment, where paper and all other input costs continue to expand, that really means volumes are continuing to fall.

Imports are mainly described by value only, so it is difficult to assess the volumes accurately. The exception is diaries. Somewhat bizarrely, imports of diaries are measured in kilograms (who doesn’t buy their grandma’s annual diaries by the kilogram?). Year-ended May, Australia imported 5.189 million kilograms of diaries, up 0.6% on the prior year, but 12.1% lower than year-ended May 2020.

As the chart below shows, imports of diaries are very seasonal. However, most notably, the average import price is trending up, averaging AUDCif5,758/t year-ended May 2022. For those buying by the kilogram, that’s $5.76 landed into Australia, so we estimate the average diary costs between $17 and $20 per kilogram when it hits the retail stores.

 

Imports of Diaries: Jan ’18 – May ’22 (tonnes, AUDCif/t)

Source: ABS derived and IndustryEdge

 

Shifting from the volume analysis – available just for diaries for no apparent reason – we can take a quick look at stationery imports by their main types. Our recent driver for doing this analysis was a client’s review of their offerings and supply chain in paper-based stationery items. This is a headline summary only, but we think it will be of some interest.

Valued at AUD143.9 million year-ended May 2022, imports of stationery are dominated by two products: Diaries (outlined above) and Registers and other business ledgers and so on.

 

Imports of Stationery by Type: Jan ’18 – May ’22 (AUDFob Million)

Source: ABS derived and IndustryEdge

 

AUDM

YE May 21

YE May 22

% Change

Diaries

27.3

27.8

1.9%

Registers etc

77.3

79.7

3.0%

Exercise books – printed

0.5

0.7

49.6%

Exercise books – plain

8.9

10.4

16.2%

Binders & folders

10.4

11.9

14.3%

Forms

1.0

1.0

2.9%

Albums

4.8

3.6

-25.0%

Other

9.9

8.6

-12.7%

Total

140.2

143.9

2.6%

 

Imports account for around three quarters of total stationery supplies in most years, not counting envelopes.

That would suggest the total stationery market is worth well in advance of AUD200 million at the wholesale point in the supply chain.

In an unsurprising development, China is the main supplier of stationery products to Australia, as the chart here shows.

 

Stationery Imports by Country: YE May 18 – YE May 22 (AUDM)

Source: ABS derived and IndustryEdge

 

 

YE May 18

YE May 19

YE May 20

YE May 21

YE May 22

China (Mainland)

110.2

126.2

114.1

103.3

103.9

India

0.9

2.3

1.0

1.0

2.2

Indonesia

5.9

6.2

4.6

2.1

2.8

Korea

7.6

7.2

10.3

8.3

9.0

Malaysia

8.9

9.9

9.1

8.8

8.3

USA

10.3

9.3

7.5

7.1

7.5

Vietnam

0.7

0.8

1.1

2.1

1.9

Other

14.5

9.7

8.3

7.5

8.2

Total

159.1

171.6

155.8

140.2

143.9

 

If we use diaries as our main example, it is clear stationery imports have been sustained in value over the last year but are declining at a steady rate in volume terms.

 

This item was first published in Edition 205 of Pulp & Paper Edge in July 2022

image_pdfConvert to PDF

Free Stuff

Sign up right now for instant access to market information, samples of our publications, various market and product guides and analysis and view some of our forum presentations. You will also be regularly updated via our blog.

> sign up now

Subscribe

Receive special offers and news.

Contact Us

IndustryEdge Pty Ltd
PO Box 7596
Geelong West, Victoria 3218

Ph +61 (0) 3 5229 2470
Fx +61 (0) 3 5229 0034
Em info@industryedge.com.au