Packaging will continue to perform, says Crisil Indices report

Crisil has published the latest numbers for the AIFMP-CRISIL indices, a trusted source of input cost data for the print industry in India. PRIDEX and CARDEX are at 157.50 points and 156.70, respectively. These indices are crucial indicators of the health and performance of India’s commercial printing and carton packaging industry.

01 Jul 2024 | By Charmiane Alexander

According to Crisil, both indices show a year-on-year drop; Pridex’s has dropped by 4.83% and Cardex's by a mere 0.76%. Through FY 2024 (Q1 2024 to Q4 2024), Pridex recorded an input cost reduction of 3.55%, and Cardex showed an increase of 1.10%.

Owing to many factors, consumer price inflation has remained well-controlled in India through FY 2024. For example, the consumer price index (CPI) was 4.85% in March 2024, compared to 5.66% in March 2023. Data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also highlights that several states and territories — such as Delhi (2.29%), Himachal Pradesh (4.11%), Maharashtra (3.66%), Punjab (4.58%), Tamil Nadu (4.46%), Uttarakhand (3.58%), and West Bengal (3.68%)—have maintained a CPI at a rate lower than the national (4.85%) in March 2024. Overall, well-controlled inflation has been reflected in the trajectory of both indices.

Sanjay Patel, the project in charge of AIFMP-CRISIL’s Indices expressed concern about global macroeconomic events in previous reports, especially in developed markets. His worries have deepened with recent events, including the tensions between Israel, Palestine, and Iran. With increasing interest rates, Patel thought exports from India to these regions would slow down and be costly. Despite the uptick in domestic markets, the export deficit has yet to be compensated by the end of the financial year.

Patel said, "With lower input cost prices for commercial printers, I expect they would have closed the fiscal year with a better bottom line. If they have not, however, we may see a rejuvenated demand from the education sector for notebooks, books, and other stationery items for the new academic year."

Patel added, "With increasing demand from the FMCG and pharmaceutical sectors, label and packaging converters are under pressure. With the increasing paperisation of packaging and the rising demand for paperboards, corrugated, and packaging-focused paper grades, their costs have increased slightly through the past few quarters." He said, "However, we see a ray of hope with a slight correction in Q4 2024. With the hope that the input costs for carton packaging will correct themselves and come down."

Patel thinks post-election market situations may differ no matter which alliance forms the Union Government. It must be noted, though, that the capacity utilisation of the print converters is much higher than in the past two years; it is not in sync with the lower input costs. Thus, lower input costs and the prices of printed products have not resulted in higher demand, at least for the commercial print segment.

Patel said, "As these indices are maturing, they reflect the input costs for the two verticals of our industry more accurately — commercial printing and carton packaging." Patel added, "Considering the latest numbers and drawing insights from the past, I hope the commercial printers used the input cost corrections to enhance their profitability while passing on some benefit to their clients and customers. The packaging will remain a hot cake for the coming few quarters, and it will continue to perform better with higher demand for e-commerce and FMCG products."

With a base value of 100 for the fiscal year 2013-2014, these indices were updated quarterly on the AIFMP-CRISIL indices’ page. Click here to access.

The methodology for computing PRIDEX and CARDEX is available here.

Tags : CRISIL;