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The global containerboard market size was USD 126.66 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 129.73 billion in 2022 to USD 153.51 billion in 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 2.4% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with witnessing a higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 2.2% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Containerboard or Corrugated Case Material (CCM) is a frequently used packaging material due to its characteristics, including lightweight, high grammage, and versatility. It comprises two main parts, linerboard (facing) and corrugated medium (fluted paper). Linerboard made using virgin fiber is known as kraft liner, whereas the one made from recycled fibers is called testliner. The corrugated medium can be virgin, semi-chemical or recycled depending on the material of pulp used. The board was one of the most recycled packaging materials in 2017, as approximately 88.8% of corrugated containers were recovered for recycling. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, more than 50% of the recovered fiber used in the manufacturing of paper & paperboard goes into containerboard production.
Disruption in Supply Chain Due to COVID-19 has Affected Market Growth
Many nations declared restrictions on raw material distribution and transportation since the pandemic outbreak in late 2019, impacting the value chain of the containerboard market. First and foremost, main manufacturing countries were under lockdown, posing a supply problem for the product, at least for the first half of 2020. Due to a lack of workforce and a shortage of raw materials due to the disrupted supply chain, this aspect limited the companies' production capacities. Additionally, due to a severe lockdown, individuals have been unable to gather carton boards to recycle them, which has halted recycling activities. However, the pandemic spiked the use of e-commerce platforms, resulting in an increased need for corrugated packaging.
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Increasing Demand for Sustainable Packaging Solutions to Create Growth Opportunities
The manufacturers of various products, including cosmetics, personal care, electronics, food & beverages, and others, prefer eco-friendly packaging solutions to promote sustainability. Corrugated boxes are considered a sustainable and environment-friendly form of packaging as they are made from recycled materials. The production of corrugated boxes from recycled materials helps manufacturers reduce environmental impact and offer sustainability toward the environment, thereby abiding by the industrial standards and regulations by the government to protect the environment. Hence, the manufacturers are shifting toward the production and use of 100% recyclable corrugated boxes. For example, in 2015, Mondi Group launched eco-friendly ProVantage kraft liner Aqua and ProVantage Fluting Aqua, which are 100% recyclable and water-resistant.
Growth in Food & Beverage Industry to Drive Containerboard Market
Containerboards are primarily used to manufacture corrugated boxes, which are extensively employed for the packaging of food & beverages, chemicals, glassware, consumer products, and electronics. The expansion of the food & beverage industry has globally boosted the demand. The shift in consumer lifestyle and increasing inclination towards frozen foods, ready-to-eat, and packaged foods have surged the food & beverage industry, thereby driving the market growth. Additionally, the rapid evolution of e-commerce platforms is also augmenting growth as a consequence of the use of product-specific packaging to keep items safe from external stress.
Regulations by Government on Use of Natural Resources to Impede Market
The prime factor hindering the market growth is the stringent regulations levied by the government on the exploitation of natural resources. The manufacture of virgin containerboards requires the use of virgin wood fiber that increases a burden on the environment. The manufacturing of these boards exploits natural resources and emits harmful greenhouse gas, thereby increasing the final cost. The governmental regulations imposed on the tree-cutting are also hampering the market growth. Hence, the above mentioned factors are impeding the growth of the market.
Recycled Material to Lead during Forecast Period due to its Increasing Preference from End-Users
Based on material, the market is classified into virgin and recycled.
In the material segment, recycled containerboard holds a major share in the market. The rising preference of consumer products manufacturers toward recyclable materials has increased the demand for recycled materials. Additionally, the high demand for eco-friendly and sustainable packaging solutions from the food & beverage industry has driven the market. Furthermore, the demand for recycled ones is expected to grow as they are cost-effective and comply with the government regulations on the environment, thereby boosting the overall market.
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Food & Beverage Segment to Account for Major Share owing to Higher Product Adoption
In terms of end-user, the market is fragmented into food & beverage, personal care & cosmetics, industrial, and others.
Among these, the food & beverage segment accounts for a major containerboard market share. Corrugated boxes made from containerboards are required by the food & beverage industry for transportation and storage purposes. This is owing to its properties such as toughness, resistance to stacking & vibration, and the ability to resist crushing. These advantages help reduce the cost of shipping and transportation, thereby decreasing the overall cost of packaging. Hence, the growth in the food & beverage industry will drive the market.
Furthermore, the personal care & cosmetics segment is witnessing growth due to the protection offered by these strong paperboards during transportation. The lightweight and tough nature of these boards makes them suitable for the transportation of glass or brittle material products, thereby leading to growth in the market.
Asia Pacific Containerboard Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 56.01 billion in 2021. Asia Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing region in the market owing to rapid industrialization activities combined with increased preference of consumers for ready-to-make and packaged foods & beverages due to busy lifestyle. Moreover, China is the largest contributor to the product demand, which shall further drive the market growth in the region.
The North America market is characterized by concerns related to the environment, which has emphasized the use of sustainable products for packaging. Containerboard offers lightweight and durable packaging and attractive display setups for the products. Hence, the end-users have high demand in this region.
Europe witnessed high demand due to the growth of the cosmetics & personal care market. The personal care industry utilizes containerboards due to their pilferage of property and prevention of spillage, which will drive the market.
The Latin America and the Middle East & Africa markets are expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growth of agriculture-related businesses coupled with the development of retail distribution channels will fuel the market growth in the respective regions.
Key Players Implementing Various Growth Strategies to Maintain their Dominance in Market
The competitive landscape of the market represents a consolidated market with the top 5 companies representing about 20% of the global production capacity. Key players in the market have invested considerable resources in the research and development of water-resistant and recyclable containerboard products. Such strategies will augment the market growth over the forecast period. In addition, mergers and acquisitions, geographical expansions, and novel technology development are a few strategies adopted by the market leaders for their growth.
An Infographic Representation of Containerboard Market
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The global market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on major producing companies, materials, end-uses, and global containerboard industry trends. The report also provides a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative market analysis. It highlights the research methodology used for deriving market data and covers recent industry developments. In addition, the report states the growth factors of the market at global and regional levels.
Value (USD billion), Volume (Million ton)
By Material, End-Use, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 126.66 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 153.51 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market value stood at USD 126.66 billion.
Registering a significant CAGR of 2.4%, the market will exhibit rapid growth over the forecast period (2022-2029).
Food & beverage segment is estimated to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
The growth of the food & beverage industry is the most critical factor driving the market.
China held the highest share in the market in 2021.
Stora Enso, Mondi Group, SCG PACKAGING PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED, and DS Smith are the leading players in the market.
Rising need for sustainable packaging materials is one of the key factors driving the product adoption during the forecast period.
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