CHENNAI: South India Corrugated Box Manufacturers’ Association (SICBMA) has urged the Centre to impose an immediate ban on the export of kraft paper in any form the main raw material in the production of corrugated boxes in order to save SMEs engaged in the sector from closure.
The SICBMA has claimed that supply of kraft paper has shrunk by over 50 per cent in the local market over the recent few months, hitting production and threatening to send hundreds of SMEs in the regions of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry packing.
Corrugated boxes (also known as carton boxes) are a key packaging material for pharma, FMCG, food products, automobiles, and electrical appliances, among others. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have close to 2,000 manufacturers—predominantly Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprisesof corrugated boxes.
Though demand for the boxes is steadily growing post Covid, manufacturers have not been able to ensure supply, since thousands of tonnes of kraft paper are leaving Indian shores for export markets, leaving the local industry high and dry, the association said. The severe shortage, coupled with an 65 per cent increase in the price of kraft paper, has hit manufacturers hard.