BRIEFING: Packaging continues to deliver for New Zealand

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The Packaging & Industrial (P&I) papers sector in New Zealand plays a crucial role in producing fiber packaging primarily for domestic consumption and export. Major consumers of these products include the fruit, vegetable, meat, and dairy export sectors, making packaging a vital component of New Zealand’s export industry. Oji Fibre Solutions and the Whakatane Board Mill are the primary producers in this sector, catering to both domestic and international markets.

This is an edited summary of a specific briefing on the NZ packaging sector in the 2023 Pulp & Paper Industry Strategic Reviews. This extract first appeared in the November 2023 edition (Edition 221) of Pulp & Paper Edge.

New Zealand’s apparent consumption of Packaging & Industrial Papers has shown significant changes over the past decade, reflecting shifts in production, exports, local sales, and imports. The following table provides an overview of these consumption patterns.

 

New Zealand Apparent Consumption of Packaging & Industrial Papers: 2013 – 2023 (ktpa)

Y/E June

Production

Exports

Local Sales

Imports

App Cons

2013

536

356.6

179.4

194.2

373.6

2018

558

317.0

227.9

250.6

478.5

2023

534

236.2

297.8

224.8

522.6

+/-% pa

0.0%

-4.0%

5.2%

1.5%

3.4%

 

Source: Statistics New Zealand & IndustryEdge research and estimates

In 2022-23, New Zealand’s production of packaging paper and paperboard remained steady at 534 ktpa, similar to levels observed a decade earlier. Despite a notable 11.1% decline in exports compared to the previous year, local sales reached their highest recorded levels. Imports also decreased by 14.4% for the year. These figures highlight the industry’s significant reliance on the export of primary products and its adaptability to shifting market conditions.

 

Production

The production landscape of Packaging Paper & Industrial Papers in New Zealand encompasses various grades, each serving specific purposes. The following table provides insights into the production volumes of different paper grades over the past decade.

New Zealand Production of Packaging Paper & Industrial Papers by Grade: 2013 – 2023 (ktpa)

Y/E June

2013

2018

2023

+/-% pa

Kraftliner

315

293

277

-1.3%

Sack Kraft

20

Corrugating Medium

105

115

112

0.6%

FBB & Coated Paperboard

110

124

145

2.8%

Other Uncoated Paperboard

6

6

Total

536

558

534

0.0%

Source: Statistics New Zealand & IndustryEdge research and estimates

The production of various paper grades in New Zealand has exhibited both stability and minor fluctuations over the years. Kraftliner, Corrugating Medium, and FBB & Coated Paperboard are among the primary grades produced, catering to a range of industrial and packaging needs. Notably, Sack Kraft production has fluctuated over the years, with periods of production and no production observed.

 

Imports

New Zealand’s imports of Packaging & Industrial Papers involve different grades and materials, reflecting the diversity of products required by the industry. The following table outlines the import volumes of various paper grades over the past decade:

New Zealand Imports of Packaging & Industrial Papers by Grade: 2013, 2018, 2023 (ktpa)

Y/E June

2013

2018

2023

+/-% pa

Kraftliner

57.9

83.9

74.9

2.6%

Corrugating Medium

59.7

23.7

53.4

-1.1%

Testliner/Multi-Ply

61.2

19.4

Container Materials

117.6

168.8

147.7

2.3%

Sack Kraft

8.3

3.3

1.2

-17.6%

Other Kraft Paperboard

11.1

35.4

42.9

14.5%

Other Uncoated Paperboard

37.6

21.5

18.8

-6.7%

Veg Parchment, etc

1.2

1.6

1.9

4.7%

Composites

1.4

0.7

0.2

-17.7%

Corrugated, Creped, etc

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.0%

Coated Paperboard

16.7

19.1

11.9

-3.3%

Total

194.1

250.7

224.8

1.5%

Source: Statistics New Zealand & IndustryEdge estimates

 

Containerboard materials, such as Kraftliner and Container Materials, constitute a significant portion of New Zealand’s paper imports, highlighting their importance in the industry. Testliner/Multi-Ply imports have also become notable in recent years. Conversely, imports of Sack Kraft have experienced a decline. Coated Paperboard imports witnessed a sharp decrease, as did imports of ‘Other Kraft Paperboard,’ a category known for its volatility. These import dynamics reflect the evolving needs of the New Zealand packaging and industrial paper market.

New Zealand’s Packaging & Industrial Papers sector serves both domestic and export markets, with a focus on supporting primary product exports. Consumption patterns have fluctuated over the years, with production, exports, and imports responding to changing market dynamics.

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