The Russian paper and cardboard sector may resume its growth in 2022 after the stagnation, caused by the pandemic and its consequences.
At present Russia ranks third in the world in terms of production of semi-finished fibrous products and 13th in terms of production of paper and cardboard. The average growth rate of the pulp and paper industry (PPI) in 2015-2018 was higher than the average for the manufacturing sector - more than 5% per year, but it slowed down in 2019. In 2020, the pulp and paper industry came out of the crisis better than many other industries, but this does not include the production of paper for printing and writing.
The crisis exacerbated systemic changes: the demand for print media dropped to a minimum, advertising went online, the pandemic collapsed the consumption of paper in schools, offices and enterprises due to the transition to a remote work format.
The situation is complicated that Russia mainly specializes on the production of low-value-added products, conducting massive exports of its pulp to abroad. According to data of the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS), the volume of pulp exports from Russia in January-August this year fell by 6.6% in volume terms, but grew by 35.1% in terms of value.
By: Eugene Gerden