Import NewsNo Comments
The paper imports of the country increased by 40% during the first nine months of the current financial year and reached 1.47 million tonne which is nearly 15% of the total paper consumption in the country. The industry feels these imports are going to put the domestic paper industry into trouble.
As per IPMA, the local paper manufacturers have been facing issues like high energy cost and scarcity of raw material. The international manufacturers have a positive scene with available plantations and low energy costs.
The international paper sellers also had zero import tariffs in India, which gave these foreign firms a competitive edge. There has been no big investment for increasing fields or production capacity in last two years. Indian paper market is growing nearly 7% every year and is amongst the fastest growing. However, in the figures from IPMA, the capacity utilization of the large mills has fallen from 92% in 2015-16 to 83% in 2016-17.
In the paper production, the raw material costs take up 40% to 50% of the total cost of production. The cost of getting domestic wood in India was higher by almost $30-$40 per tonne when seen in comparison with other Asian countries. The cost of paper production in India is higher by almost a $100 for a tonne of paper.
The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) in November last year started a probe of uncoated copier paper coming from Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. In January 2018 DGAD started another investigation on the import of coated paper from China, the U.S., and the EU.
The association asked tough probe and for a conducive plantation policy which would allow degraded forests to be used as plantations.