Packaging industry faces tough time due to rising prices of raw materials in Gautam Budh Nagar
The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the packaging industry in Gautam Budh Nagar district. According to entrepreneurs in the industry, while the prices of essential raw materials like paper and aluminium foil have increased by 70% during the pandemic, carriage charges to foreign countries also increased fivefold.
Kulmani Gupta, the president of the Noida chapter of Indian Industries Association (IIA), said that at present, there are over 800 packaging units operational in Gautam Budh Nagar, providing jobs to over 20,000 people. “Packaging is an integral part of many industries, including readymade garments, automotives, home appliances, electrical components, printing, grocery and handicrafts. Most raw materials, such as aluminium foil and different varieties of paper used in this industry, are imported from other countries. After the Covid-19 outbreak, not only have the prices of raw materials gone up by 70%, but overseas exporters have also increased the transportation and carrier charges fivefold since the outbreak of the pandemic (in March 2020). As a result of these issues, orders to these packaging units are suffering a huge loss,” he said.
Rajesh Bhatia, an entrepreneur, who runs a corrugated box manufacturing unit in Noida said that after the pandemic, the prices of different craft paper – which ranged between ₹20 to ₹25 per kilogram before the pandemic – have now gone up to ₹40 to ₹45 per kilogram. “These papers include craft, semi-craft and virgin craft papers in different colours. While the price hike has badly affected our production capacity, the value of our orders has also reduced from ₹500 crore per annum to nearly ₹250 crore,” he said.
Another entrepreneur, Ashish Malhotra, who runs an aluminium dye cast manufacturing unit in Noida, said that the price hike in aluminium raw material has adversely affected the packaging industry in the district as well. “All the electric products, home appliances and automobile products are packed in different types of aluminium sheets. The aluminium input, which used to cost ₹100 per kilogram, is now being sold at ₹178 per kilogram. The rising prices of diesel and petrol have also multiplied our problems. Not only that, even countries we import material from have increased their carrier charges,” he said.