VDMA: Packaging printing in South America is increasing strongly

Buenos Aires, 19 March 2013 – South America is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. The economic upturn is accompanied by an above-average increase in demand for packaging and packaging printing. “We want to capitalise on this development. The German printing technology industry wants to play a leading role in this dynamic growth market," said Dr. Markus Heering, Managing Director of the Printing and Paper Technology Association within VDMA in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. The capital of Argentina was the last stop of a one-week conference tour which took representatives of the German printing industry in addition to Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

In these countries, the share of packaging printing in the total print volume is between 45 and 50 per cent and hence even above the average in South America. According to a study of PIRA, a market research institute for the international printing and paper industry, the market for printing technology in those five countries had a volume in excess of USD 1.5 billion. Up to 2017, PIRA forecasts an increase to USD 2 billion. “This is still a small volume compared to Western countries, but the growth rates are very strong. Here we see a dynamic development which we do not find in the traditional markets any longer," said Heering. Two figures clearly demonstrate the difference. In 2011, the total market for packaging in Germany amounted to almost USD 40 billion, while on the South American continent it amounted to only USD 36 billion.

For 2016, PIRA expects only a moderate growth rate for Germany to USD 41 billion, for South America, however, to nearly USD 46 billion which is equivalent to an increase of approx. 28 per cent. Growing middle class spurs packaging printing An important reason for the growing demand for packaging and, as a result, packaging printing in the aspiring emerging countries in South America is the food industry. More and more food is packed, reflecting the need of a growing middle class. “The strong economic growth in Peru has changed the behaviour of consumers," said Jörg Zehnle, Executive Director of the German-Peruan Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Lima, “people prefer packed food. At the same time, the machines of many companies have become obsolete. Therefore, German companies meet with strong interest when they present their premium products here." What is true of Peru is also true of the other countries visited. Correspondingly, there was strong interest in the conferences of the German printing industry. “We saw that it is important to present oneself locally. We are faced with competition. Others, too, are eager to penetrate these growth markets," said Heering. Brazil was not part of the conference schedule. This largest single market of that continent is already clearly more advanced than its neighbouring countries. Therefore, the companies of the printing press industry have been represented there for quite some time already.

The German printing and paper industry is continuously looking for new, rapidly growing sales markets. In addition to South America, another focus of these efforts is on India. In 2012, the industry had started an initiative aiming at raising quality awareness for print products there – a precondition of the export of German high-tech machines. 

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