Paper and Paperboard Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2024

Although Price Revision Recovered Business Performance of Paper Companies, Industry Sees Falling Demand for Paper & Paperboard

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the paper and paperboard market at home and abroad, and found out the trends by product category, the trends by market player, and future perspective.

Summary of Research Findings

In the paper & paperboard market, the demand was sluggish throughout 2023 as the price revision in the preceding year stunted the demand. Shipment of graphic papers such as newsprints and printing & communication papers declined further, while the shipment of paperboard also turned to worse as the drive for stay-at-home demand (rise of ecommerce) decelerated and consumer spending slumped due to repeated price hikes. In addition, paperboard exports decreased considerably due to the drop in demand and market deterioration in Asian regions. Under the circumstances, the paper and paperboard shipment (as a total of domestic shipment and export) are forecasted to fall significantly.

Noteworthy Topics

What is The Future of The Paper & Pulp Industry in Post-Corona Era?

On the whole, it can be said that the demand for paper and paperboard deteriorated in 2023. There is no doubt that price revisions carried out by paper manufacturers in the previous year several times precipitated the downturn. However, the price revision was indispensable for paper manufacturers to go through ongoing structural reforms and reinforce their business foundation. In this sense, the demand decline in 2023 was an inevitable “pain” associated with transformation.

Nonetheless, the deterioration may continue on in 2024. At this point, a biggest concern is the negative impact of rising prices. Considering the anticipation that labor cost and logistics cost will swell, the situation may drive inflation further.

Companies using papers and paperboards are likely to continue embarking on holding down costs and expenses from various perspectives, including that of sales promotion, packaging, equipment, etc. Moreover, it is highly probable that consumers may curtail spending as they become thriftier.

Is the drop in demand temporary or the start of a long-term recession? The resilience of the paper and pulp industry are being tested.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: October 2023 to January 2024
2.Research Object: Pulp & paper companies, distributors of paper & converted paper products, trading companies, newspaper companies, paper converters, and other related businesses
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by our expert researchers (including online interviews), survey by telephone, mailed questionnaire, and literature research.

What is the Paper and Paperboard Market?

In this research, the paper market refers to newsprint, printing & communication paper, wrapping & packaging paper, sanitary paper, and other paper for industrial use and household use*. The paperboard market refers to containerboard, boxboard, and other paperboards.

*Translator’s note: “Other paper for industrial use” indicates paper such as those used for wallpaper and printed plywood. "Other paper for household use" refers to papers for tea bags, grease papers, etc.

<Products and Services in the Market>

Newsprint, printing & communication paper, wrapping & packaging paper, sanitary paper, other papers for industrial use and household use, containerboard, boxboard, and other paperboards, raw materials for paper production (chip, pulp, wastepaper), papermaking chemicals (paper making chemicals specifically for communication paper, sizing agents, surface sizing agents, strengthening agents, coating pigment/fillers, binders for paper coating, etc.)

Published Report

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