A new study has revealed that the global market for food contact paper and board, which at present is valued at over $53bn, is set to rise by 6% annually, to reach about $70bn by 2017.
Smithers Pira's study titled 'The Future of Food Contact Paper and Board to 2017' found that the Asia Pacific market will be the driver of the growth regionally, where Chinese consumption of the materials is expected to rise by almost 11% annually.
This will be counterbalanced by slow development in European demand and pretty slow growth in other regions.
The report, which examines global market and technology trends, also includes an analysis of the future prospects for food contact paper and board in fast-growing markets such as chilled foods, takeaway foods and ready meals, besides packaging markets.
According to the study, end users of the packaging material, fresh produce sector will contribute the highest volume of additional demand at 2.5 million tonnes in 2017, beating projected 2012 consumption.
A further 1.8 million tonnes will be added by dry groceries, while liquid food and beverages are expected to add yet another million tonnes.
By 2017, the total market will require an additional 7.5 million tonnes of paper and board to satisfy the demand, the report noted.
Demand for food contact paper and board is expected to rise by 4.6% during 2012 owing to trends in favour of paper-based materials, driven by the global focus on sustainability.
This will be followed by a period of sustained growth approaching 6% annually on average over the period from 2012 to 2017, resulting in creation of a market of over 30 million tonnes of material.
The end result of the demand will be requirement of over 7.5 million tonnes more material by 2017 than is projected for 2012, adding almost $15bn to the market value at 2011 prices.
Of the total market, corrugated and folding carton materials occupied almost 60%, while more than 30% of the volume was taken up by kraft papers, and the remainder by wrapping papers.