The results of Smithers Pira’s recent investigation into over 750 international paperboard factories, and more than 80 corrugated paperboard, processing factories were revealed in a report titled The Future of Global Markets for Corrugated Board to 2017.

The report pointed out that in 2011 the sales revenue generated by corrugated paperboard for packaging use in the world was USD 52 billion. It is expected to be USD 67 billion in 2017.

In 2011, global consumption of corrugated paperboard was 102 million tons, a 2.5% increase from the 99.5 million tons consumed in 2010. Packaging of frozen food, fast food and convenience food were the major growth drivers. The report stated that convenience food was key, as people now prefer it as a way of saving time and energy. This trend represents great development prospects for the corrugated packaging industry.

Smithers Pira expects corrugated packaging for electronic and personal care products to develop fastest due to their greater use in urban areas, coupled with rapid rates of urbanization.

The Future of Global Markets for Corrugated Board to 2017 report further states that since Eastern Europe, China, India and Brazil are experiencing accelerated urbanization, the growing market for convenience food in these regions is boosting demand for corrugated paperboard.

Asia is now the biggest corrugated market in the world. Over the next five years the continent’s consumption of corrugated paperboard will make up half the global total. Conversely, the North American and Western European markets will likely decline.