Local corrugated carton industry faces growing concerns over skyrocketing prices of paper
The corrugated carton industry in Sri Lanka faces pressure and unprecedented challenges as the global prices of all types of papers continue to skyrocket since October last year. Many corrugated and brown box manufacturers here are going through the toughest situation in the industry’s history and fears grow as it’s the longest period as well with no sign of it easing up any time soon, stressed the Lanka Corrugated Carton Manufacturers’ Association.
The prices of brown kraftliner and brown recycled grades including testliner, and corrugated medium papers will continue to soar, with various sources predicting further price hikes in the coming weeks. During the last four months alone, prices have gone up by as much as over 50pct in Sri Lanka with no price stability, anticipating that this situation will only get worse without adequate support and involvement from key stakeholders.
This comes in the wake of a drastic shortage in paper due to the pandemic coupled with disruptions in supply chains including costly freight charges. Further, there has been a significant rise in demand for papers from China to meet its domestic needs following the country’s ban on importing all wastes from various countries, mainly direct recovered paper, from earlier this year. This resulted in Chinese paper mills importing recycled brown pulp and both recycled and unbleached Kraft linerboard to use it as a pulp or a fiber source to produce paper, apart from counting on other sources such as local recovered paper within the country, imported recycled as well as virgin pulp.
It goes without saying that cartons produced in Sri Lanka have a far more superior quality when compared to other countries, as source materials, i.e. waste paper from topnotch suppliers in Europe, USA and Australia. However, the recent second wave of coronavirus taking its toll in these countries has affected waste paper collection, leading to problems in its availability and rise in prices. And on top of all these is the freight shortage.
Just as the economy seems to recover from the detrimental impact of the pandemic this only adds a growing worry, burdening the packaging industry which plays a pivotal role in various industry sectors from electronics and FMCG to various products brought through e-commerce, a sector that is experiencing exponential growth resulting in higher demand for corrugated carton.
Sri Lanka’s total carton production stands at 150,000 metric tons annually, primarily serving the B2B market. There are more than 40 corrugated carton manufacturers, and about ten of them make up a whopping 70pct plus market share. Many manufacturers today are equipped with fully-automatic, state-of-the-art plants with an appetite to continuously invest in innovation, research and development to increase quality, consistency and durability of their cartons.
Needless to say that corrugated box manufacturing is an eco-friendly industry recycling brown boxes as well as waste paper. And it certainly deserves various avenues and opportunities to sustain and thrive in its operations, and this is a critical moment for key stakeholders, authorities and officials to step in and help support the industry.
Share investors worried over Wealth and Heritage tax
By Hiran H Senewiratne
CSE trading kicked off on a positive note yesterday but the momentum could not be sustained for long owing to investor worries that the government is planning domestic debt restructuring involving the imposition of a wealth and heritage tax on citizens, market sources said.
Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All -Share Price Index went down by 131 points and S and P SL-20 declined by 46.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3.4 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Agalawattte Plantations, which crossed 45.3 million shares to the tune of Rs 1.5 billion, its shares traded at Rs 35, CTC 420,000 shares crossed for Rs 269 million and its shares traded at Rs 640, Cargills 100,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 24.5 million; its shares traded at Rs 245 and Hayleys 300,000 shares crossed for Rs 24 million; its shares traded at Rs 80.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, SLT Rs 234 million (two million shares traded), Hayleys RS 121 million (1.5 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 106 million (115,000 shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 69 million (5.6 million shares traded), CTC Rs 65.3 million (101,000 shares traded), Sampath Bank RS 54.7 million (one million shares traded) and Commercial Bank RS 52.5 million (801,000 shares traded).During the day 164 million share volumes changed hands in 20000 transactions.
Brandix ‘RightToRead’ initiative gains momentum enriching Sri Lanka students and transforming learning
Inspired by the challenge to provide Sri Lankan children with better access to learning materials and the transformative power to read and comprehend English, Brandix launched the ‘RightToRead’ project in 2018 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Accordingly, Brandix introduced the ‘ReadToMe’ English learning tool, created by English Helper – India, to improve reading and comprehension skills of Sri Lankan students. Last Monday, Julie Chung, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, visited Susamayawardhana Vidyalaya in Borella, to observe progress of the project and experience how children and educators in Sri Lanka engage with educational technology.
Brandix Lanka Limited, Director, Ajit Johnpillai, said: “Education is the most powerful tool to enrich communities and futures, and Brandix is committed to build a strong foundation for transformational learning for students across Sri Lanka. The progress we have made with RiteToRead over the past two years is promising, and the potential for change in the education sector harnessing such digital technologies is immeasurable. Brandix will continue its commitment to deliver Inspired Solutions for the people of Sri Lanka.”
Dialog TV Boosts Resilience and Capacity with Norsat Satellite Earth Station
Hytera, a leading global provider of professional communications technologies and solutions, is proud to announce the successful deployment of a new backup satellite station for Dialog TV, Sri Lanka’s No.1 satellite Pay TV service provider. The project was fulfilled in 2022 by Hytera and its subsidiary specialized in Satellite Communications (SatCom), Norsat International Inc. The new station enhances the resilience and capacity of Dialog TV’s existing system and ensures continuity of service in the event of damage due to natural disasters.
Dialog TV provides coverage over the entirety of Sri Lanka through the Intelsat 38 Ku-band satellite. As the business expanded, it opted for a backup solution to support its existing satellite station and to strengthen the network’s disaster tolerance.
Hytera and Norsat provided an end-to-end satellite earth station solution that includes the installation, integration, and setup of satellite antennas, a transmission and receiving system, a new network management system (NMS), and a carrier monitoring system (CMS). The NMS makes routine work easier and simpler for on-duty staff, as equipment status, parameter monitoring and configuration, and remote control of the devices can be viewed and accomplished via a single interface. The CMS monitors the carrier spectrum status of satellite signals in real-time and ensures stable signal transmission and receiving.
“We are excited to have been able to work with Dialog TV on this important project,” said Kevin Sun, Sales Director for Hytera South Asia, “Our ability to seamlessly integrate our new equipment and software with Dialog TV’s existing systems has helped to ensure a stable and reliable service for their millions of customers across Sri Lanka.”
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