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The Manufacture of Paper and Related Products
Disruption in the South African pulp and paper market continues to exact a heavy toll on producers of paper and related products. Total production and consumption of paper and paper-based products declined in 2017. The local pulp and paper market is dominated by Sappi Limited and the Mondi Group, which are both vertically integrated with significant forest plantations and manufacturing facilities. South Africa is ranked as one the world’s top 20 pulp producers, and manufacturing sales of paper and paper products totalled R75.51bn in 2017.
Opportunities and Challenges
Digitisation has prompted numerous manufacturers to restructure. Rationalisation and streamlining initiatives in recent years, which include the closure or conversion of a number of pulp and paper production facilities, have generally yielded positive results. The industry continues to be affected by ongoing calls for a paperless society, declining consumption of printing and writing paper driven by digitisation and an increase in the off-shoring of printing. The industry is also affected by land restitution claims and possible land expropriation without compensation, as well as wildfires and droughts. There are, however, many opportunities presented by new technologies and innovation including in recyclable paper and lightweight, eco-friendly consumer packaging.
This report investigates the manufacture of pulp, paper and related products, including tissue and packaging grades. While the report focuses on the South African market, recent developments in the industry, as well as factors influencing the success of the sector, it also examines the state of the African and global pulp and paper markets. This report profiles 37 players in the industry, including Sappi, the largest manufacturer of dissolving wool pulp in the world with a 20% market share, Mondi, the global market leader in the industrial bags segment and Mpact, a market leader in the Southern African packaging segment.