Change in carton import-export balance predicted

7 February 2003

A high sterling value has for many years encouraged the export of converted goods from mainland Europe into the UK. But, according to the latest Folding Carton Outlook report published by Jim Clancy's Packaging Focus last month, for cartons, at least, that may well be set to change.

He is predicting a recovery in the UK carton industry and even - based on current evidence – that the business will become a net exporter of converted cartons next year.

If that's the case then it is certainly good news for a sector of the UK industry that has been beset by imports for at least the last decade, bolstered by countries seeking to up the value of home produced cartonboard by converting it into finished packaging. The research and marketing company says that the turnaround in the UK exports is in line with a weakening in the value of sterling against the euro. It notes that the process "has already started to emerge" with the UK recording its lowest net import of cartons in over 10 years in 2002. More information on the report, which also contains some interesting research on prices, margins and profitability, can be obtained by emailing

The carton market is one sector in the sights of the flexographic printing converter. Next month sees the staging of the dedicated flexographic print show, Flexo 2003. This month's issue offers a preview of what you can expect at the exhibition, at Birmingham's NEC. The Converting Today team look forward to seeing you there. We'll be on Stand 1207.

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