Pulp, paper and packaging industry predicts bleak year ahead, according StepChange Consulting industry study

The change in industry leaders' expectations since the start of 2022 is dramatic — get the intitial findings below, and have your say

StepChange Consulting is conducting an economic outlook study in November 2022 among top managers and decision makers in the forest products industry, along with participants of the Fastmarkets Forest Products International Containerboard Conference 2022. Over 85% of the respondents so far are top executives or in managerial roles (45% and 40% respectively).

The aim of the survey is to gauge the sentiment of the respondents regarding macroeconomic expectations for 2023 as well as corporate trends and priorities. The second part of the survey is dedicated to the subject of digitalization and sustainability.

Here are some of the initial findings

  • Macroeconomic outlook reaches historic low
  • No consensus on whether energy and transportation costs will continue to grow or may have peaked
  • Participants predict fall in demand and selling prices
  • Reduced access to financing expected
  • Priorities return to basics as companies focus on margin management and cost cutting
  • Digitalization and sustainability will continue to shape the industry in the next 5 years — but not among top 3 of current priorities
  • Companies cut back on digitalization initiatives as their short-term priorities shift
  • Barriers to digitalization are mostly related to skills and change management
  • Most companies have a defined sustainability strategy but with less specific actions to reduce dependency on fossils

Have your say

Where do you see the economy in your region heading in the next 12 months? And how will this impact the development of your sector? Take part in the survey today. It takes just ten minutes to complete. Results are freely available to all participants of the survey via email or via download from the StepChange website.

Case Study

Learn how to monitor packaging prices using cost and price indices and understand the underlying cost drivers, from material cost to labor, energy and more. Examples include cartonboard, liquid container and paper bag.

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