• Print Innovation Asia

Asia continue to dominate label market to 2022

The region is expected to take up 48% of the worldwide label market by volume in 2022.

A new Smithers Pira report (The Future of Label Printing to 2022) revealed that label markets are set for steady growth and expected to expand at an average of 2.8% year on year to yield a total value of $39.50 billion in 2022.

With over 465 billion A4 sheet equivalents in 2017, Asia is today 46% of worldwide label market by volume.

Above average growth will push this to 48% by the end of the Smithers Pira study period. The only region with higher annual expansion across this period is the nascent African market, but even by 2022 it share will be less than 4% of global supply. In 2017 this market is worth $34.46 billion globally.

Over the next five years, market growth will expand at an average of 2.8% year on year to yield a total value of $39.50 billion in 2022. This contrasts with an annual growth rate of just 1.2% in the wider print market, as traditional end-use applications see margins eroded by electronic media.

Labels, like packaging are more resilient in the face of this threat, and there is still significant commercial potential especially in newer markets where population are still making the transition to buying more labelled products.

Narrow-web label printers have pioneered the use of digital (toner and inkjet systems) across the past decade, and this trend is far from exhausted with new high volume machines be launched every year. The value share of digital printing is now 29.3%, up from 20.8% in 2012 – this will rise to 35.6% in 2022. In volume terms the shares are lower 13.0% in 2017, and 17.9% in 2022 – reflecting digital’s concentration in shorter run, higher value applications.

Many print service providers are now adopting a hybrid working approach and progressively channelling work onto digital presses as their productivity increases and the average run lengths demanded by customer decline.

Significantly within digital the growth rate for toner printing will be relatively low around 1.0% per year, while the value of inkjet work will grow at 16.5% per year across the same period. For analogue presses reasonable expansion is predicted for sheetfed and coldest litho; although the later process is confined to higher volume low value prints.

Within its analysis of label formats, Smithers Pira shows that pressure sensitive labels are the dominant product. These have a 58% market share by value in 2017; and above average growth will see this increase progressively across the next five years. There will also be new demand for sleeves and in-mould labels, while the market share for wet-glue labels will fall.

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