World label shipments are forecast to advance at an annual rate of almost seven per cent off a weak 2001-2002 base and surpass 36 billion m2 in 2007. In value terms, output will grow over nine per cent annually to $73 billion, which will require some $35 billion of labelstock.
These and other trends are presented in World Labels, a new study from The Freedonia Group. It says gains will be fueled by expansion of the world’s packaged consumer goods markets. Also important will be the diffusion of advanced logistics and data processing systems throughout the developing world, and the development and penetration of technologically sophisticated, value added labels.
The best gains are expected in the world’s emerging economies, which already account for over one-third of global label production. Label markets in developing countries will enjoy robust growth, fuelled by generally healthy economies, new free trade agreements, rising populations and expanding consumer sectors.
East European nations such as Poland, Hungary and Russia will log some of the best gains, says Freedonia, as greater self sufficiency in label production is achieved and West European manufacture of both labels and labelled consumer goods shifts to low cost offshore venues. China, which recently surpassed Japan as the second leading label producing nation after the US, will also experience explosive growth. Adoption of advanced inventory control systems in developing areas will also buoy label demand, as will the expansion of marketing focused capitalist economic systems.
Pressure sensitive labels, which surpassed wet glues as the leading label type in the late 1990s, will account for over 57 per cent of the global market by 2007. Plastics labels will continue to penetrate traditional paper applications, capturing 28 per cent of the world market by 2007, up from 23 per cent in 2002.
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